Surfers honor murdered Melbourne Beach woman with ‘gorgeous heart’
By Margaret Kavanagh, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, July 31, 2011 6:49 PM
MELBOURNE BEACH —
Tears fell as loved ones remembered 26-year-old Jesse Burrell during a paddle out Sunday morning in Melbourne Beach.
“We loved here with all of our hearts, and all of our souls, and there’s an empty spot,” said Joann McDonald, Burrell’s aunt.
Burrell was just three weeks shy of her 27th birthday when she was found shot to death inside a home on Ocean View Lane, just a few miles down the road from where she grew up.
Amber Lewis had known Burrell for 22 years. She said, “I want everyone to know that Jesse was a wonderful beautiful person. It’s more than obvious from the turnout we’ve had today.”
People who turned out Sunday described Burrell as forgiving, loving and always the life of the party.
Word of the Melbourne High School graduate’s tragic death stunned the beachside community.
“It was shocking that anyone could do that to her because she had so much love for everyone,” friend Elena Drake said.
Mourners sang in her honor, set up a memorial with flowers and pictures, and even set up her beach chair.
Burrell was known as a free spirit who was full of life, and taken too soon.
McDonald said, “She is somewhere over the rainbow and we will miss her.”
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