Mourning an ‘angel’: Candlelight vigil held for woman found dead in Canarsie Park

Mourning an ‘angel’: Candlelight vigil held for woman found dead in Canarsie Park
Photo by Caroline Ourso

More than 100 people lit candles and demanded justice at a vigil on April 12 for the local woman who was found dead in Canarsie Park three days earlier. One family member of Brandy Odom, whose dismembered body was found near a footpath in the park, said he hopes the perpetrator of the horrific crime is found quickly.

“You don’t cut somebody up like that,” said her uncle Anthony Jackson, who attended the vigil. “They need to be brought to justice.”

A passerby discovered the body of a young woman near a pathway in the park and called the police on April 9. The body, later identified as the 26-year-old Odom, was missing arms and legs, and was partially covered by leaves. Odom lived just blocks away from the park, and her gruesome death has shocked the community.

The mourners gathered in the park at 7 pm, where they consoled each other, prayed, and released white balloons into the sky to honor of Odom. Borough President Adams, state Sen. Roxanne Persaud (D–Canarsie), and Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Canarsie) also attended. Odom’s family members came from as far away as Virginia and Pennsylvania for the vigil, according to community advocate Tony Herbert, who helped organize the gathering.

Odom’s loved ones were happy so many people came out in remembrance of her.

“It was beautiful,” said Jackson of the vigil. “There was a lot of love and support.”

Odom’s family and friends remembered her as a kind soul and a hard worker. She was studying to become a school safety officer at the time of her death, according to her uncle.

“She was loving, educated, career-oriented,” said Jackson. “She was a princess, an angel.”

Another relative described her as a dedicated woman who was fun and talented, especially with hair styling.

“That girl could do some hair,” said cousin Elisha Odom. “She was funny, and crazy in the best way.”

But he also said her death — and the way she died — have left the family distraught, and looking for answers.

“When we think about how it all happened, it puts us in a dark, dark place,” he said. “This was really done with a malicious intent. It makes me so upset.”

Police said the case is still under investigation and that there have been no arrests as of April 13. There is a $10,000 reward for information that helps find the killer, according to a police spokeswoman.

Those who loved Odom will be restless while authorities work to solve her murder, said her cousin, who added that even catching her killer may not bring peace.

“We’ll never have any closure. Even if they do catch them, I need to know why,” he said. “I need to hear the backstory.”

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577–8477. The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or by texting tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. All tips are strictly confidential.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.
Into the sky: More than 100 attendees released white balloons into the sky in honor of Odom.
Photo by Caroline Ourso