ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla — Monday marks one year since a murder that shook families across the First Coast.
Tristyn Bailey, 13, was found dead by a pond near her St. Johns County neighborhood. Her alleged killer was her classmate.
The case gained international attention, but its center is a family experiencing an unimaginable tragedy.
As Bailey's family grieves, they are also finding ways to improve their community in Bailey's name, making sure her legacy lives on.
The family released a statement that reads in part: "As a family, we continue to be devastated and overcome with grief at the loss of Tristyn. With time, we are learning to deal with carrying this loss forward. We draw our greatest strength from our love of Tristyn and seek to honor her memory in line with her spirit."
Tristyn's family is working with a youth mental health program, a community-focused gym with self-defense classes and a scholarship program.
The family also thanks the many organizations and individuals who have held events in Bailey's name and continue to wear teal, her favorite color, and spread kindness.
The teenager accused of killing Bailey is now 15-year-old Aiden Fucci. He was in court last week and is charged with first-degree murder and being tried as an adult.
Fucci is accused of stabbing Bailey 114 times and leaving her body next to a pond near his home. His murder trial is set to begin in November.
On First Coast News at 6:00 Monday, we take a look back at Bailey's life. Katie Jeffries spoke with St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick about how the case impacted his department and his community.
Read the Bailey family's full statement here:
As a family, we continue to be devastated and overcome with grief at the loss of Tristyn. With time we are learning to deal with carrying this loss forward. We draw our greatest strength from our love of Tristyn and seek to honor her memory in line with her spirit. Our Saint Johns and Jacksonville community, her teammates and classmates are simply incredible in the acts of kindness and encouragement for one another. It is in the day to day memories and expressions of love that we best carry Tristyn forward.
We are also working on many lasting ways in which Tristyn’s legacy will support the good. In the next year we look forward to formally announcing many of these efforts. Presently we are working to align with a youth mental health program, a community focused gym that will also support defense classes and a scholarship program. Tristyn’s dedication as a teammate continues to be honored. Saint Johns Middle School Cheer Association, Infinity Allstars Cheerleading, Zone Cheer All-Stars and the Episcopal Eagles Women’s Lacrosse are each recognizing someone within their respective program with a Tristyn Bailey award.
We are deeply appreciative of the many organizations and businesses that have had events to remember Tristyn. From the Aberdeen 5K, Kendra Scott event, POA homecoming game, Outlaws play-off game, Creekside/Episcopal Womens Lacrosse game, POA Spring concert, to the businesses and individuals that show their teal and aqua in support and spread kindess each day, we’re immensely thankful. Going beyond our local community, we have seen how Tristyn’s spirit, memory, and kindness has grown around the world, from countless aqua bows tied up in her memory to painted rocks carried and hidden around the world to share her legacy.
As we take today to reflect upon Tristyn’s memory and the light her passing has inspired, we encourage everyone to find a moment each day to feed the good wolf. Through acts of kindness and love as a community we can drive out evil together.
With Love Always,
The Bailey 7
Neighborhood signs show support for Tristyn Bailey's family