BROOKLINE (KDKA) — Full of emotion, Karissa Kunco’s mother told a crowd of family and friends about going to her daughter’s grave on what would have been her 22nd birthday.

Kathy Kunco-Makowski was among a group of people who gathered to light candles, pray and sing Happy Birthday in Brookline Tuesday night. The crowd also released birthday balloons.

Karissa Kunco disappeared in January. Her body was later found in some woods near Hickory, Washington County. Police say she had been stabbed.

Her ex-boyfriend, Jordan Clemons, is charged in her death. He has been held for trial.

Kunco’s mother said she’s thought about giving up, but that she made a promise at her daughter’s grave site to stay strong. She wants everyone to know how special her daughter was.

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