UPDATE (9:50 p.m.): It was an emotional day for friends, family, and members in the Hurley, Mississippi, community.
Friends and family who knew both Bayleigh Bowlin and Chloe Taylor gathered at the site of the crash to place a memorial to honor the two girls who died in a car accident.
Both girls were in their junior year at East Central High School in Hurley, and family members spoke to News 5 off camera who said the girls were driving from Waffle House in Lucedale after their Homecoming dance.
Superintendent John Strycker says they had counselors and pastors at the school to help grieving students. He describes Hurley as a tight-knit community, so the news of the girls passing away devastated the students at East Central High School.
“They were two outstanding individuals,” said Strycker. “Loved by many people. Regardless, we are a tight-knit community, so whenever we lose our students, it’s a loss to all of us. Some people knew them better than us, but we’re all hurting over this.”
Garon Tate was one of the pastors at the school to help students, and he spoke with many students who knew the girls, and he says he wants students to know they’re not alone during this grieving process.
“Everybody knows everybody here. A lot of the students that I spoke with, they were very good friends of the girls,” said Tate. “And they just did life together. Those are some deep relationships, deep friendships. And so there’s a lot of hurt, there’s a lot of process things naturally there would be in a loss like this.”
Many family members and friends say the girls were best friends and were inseparable.
One family member tells News 5 that after the girls were reported missing early Sunday morning, an uncle of one of the girls went canvassing the area and noticed a street sign knocked down on Mississippi Highway 613.
After noticing the sign was knocked down and tire marks on the curb, he followed it into the trees, where he found both girls dead, still strapped in their car seats.
A family member from Bowlin’s family says there is a plan to do a balloon release in honor of the girls, but a date has not been set yet.
JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WKRG) — Two 16-year-old girls were found dead in a car in the Harleston community following a single-car crash Sunday afternoon, according to a release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
Bayleigh Bowlin and Chloe Taylor, both from Hurley, attended East Central High School. The families of Bowlin and Taylor reported the girls missing Sunday morning, Oct. 16.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said they were found after single-car crash that happened at the Highway 613/Lum Reeves intersection.
The Mississippi Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash. No other details were given at this time.