Candlelight vigil held for couple fatally stabbed in their home

Couple's teenage neighbor arrested in connection with fatal stabbing

SAN ANTONIO – With prayers, poem and song, a group of about 30 remembered John and Melinda Smith at a candlelight vigil Sunday night.

They gathered outside the couple's southeast Bexar County home on Lost Hills Drive where they were found stabbed Thursday morning. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office arrested their 17-year-old neighbor in connection to the crime.

The vigil was a chance to remember and honor the couple who Rhonda Biggs described as "kind and loving."

"They were so helpful. They just loved everybody," Biggs said.

Old friends like Biggs, who knew the couple for 35 years, and Norbert Vallejo, who worked with John Smith, grappled with their loss.

"It hasn't hit that she's gone," Biggs said of her best friend. "Every day I want to pick up the phone and call her or text her."

"John was a caring guy - church guy. Always talking about church you know? Helping people out," Vallejo said. "Good guy. He's going to be missed."

The Smith's sudden and violent murders shocked their friends and their small community. Though many at the vigil hadn't known the Smiths, they wanted to come together.

"I don't think that people expect it to happen in something small like this," said Toni Wendt, who organized the vigil despite not knowing the couple. "I think the community needs to get together and bond together."

Dale Burmaster and his wife were among the vigil attendees. Most of the people there, he said, lived in the area like him.

"We're all here to support each other," he said.

Though the group mourned the Smiths' loss, Biggs took comfort that the deeply religious couple was in a better place.

"That's what helps to know they're where they are. They're in heaven - better off than they've ever been," she said.

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