BOONE, N.C. — She was a woman who rode elephants and hiked on Mount Everest, friends said, in remembering Dara Watson as an adventurous spirit who loved life.
Her funeral Wednesday in Boone drew people from here and the Charleston, S.C., suburb of Mount Pleasant, where the Boone native lived and was murdered.
Both communities had been gripped by a two-week search for the missing Watson before her body was found Friday. An evening candlelight vigil had already been planned in both communities that day for the missing woman and went ahead even as authorities were working to identify the body found with a gunshot wound to the head and buried 60 yards from her burned-out SUV in Francis Marion National Forest.
The vigil in Boone was held outside Watsonatta Western World, the West King Street store owned by her parents, Darrel and Ellen Watson. Cowboy hats, clothes and horse tack has been sold at the store since 1969.
Dara Watson left Boone on Feb. 6 with her fiancé, David Hedrick, headed to their home in Mount Pleasant.
This article was written by Monte Mitchell and originally appeared in The Winston-Salem Journal. Click here to read more.