NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Friends and family honored a young Long Island mother Saturday evening, the same day her accused killer appeared in court for the first time.
The body of Sarah Goode, 21, of Medford was found on June 12 in a wooded area about a half-mile away from her abandoned car. Sources said there were apparent signs of a struggle inside her car. One witness also said there appeared to be blood in the vehicle.
On Thursday, 19-year-old Dante Taylor, of Mastic was arrested in Florida by Suffolk County Homicide detectives and U.S. Marshals.
“Dante Taylor was arrested outside the home he was living in in Florida,” Suffolk County Homicide Squad Det. Lt. Kevin Bayrer told CBS 2’s Steve Lanford.
Taylor was transported to Suffolk County Police Headquarters and charged with second-degree murder on Saturday morning. He pleaded not guilty.
Goode was the single mother of a 4-year-old girl and a medical technician. She had last been seen at a friend’s house in Shirley.
Taylor’s first court appearance drew a massive presence from Goode’s family and friends. They wore T-shirts bearing Goode’s photo and a quote from John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
Grim details of the case were revealed during the court appearance, including a report that Goode was found with a piece of metal embedded in her head, Langford reported. The information provoked outbursts of rage in court and raw grief as Goode’s supporters exited.
“Right now I can’t think, so I really can’t talk,” one friend said.
“He should go to jail for the rest of his life,” said another friend.
“It hurts, it hurts just to see that someone could do something so animistic to somebody like that,” said family friend Tom Steinbach.
Investigators said physical evidence, DNA, and cell phone records link Taylor to the crime.
“It’s sad that a 4-year-old girl has to bury her mother,” said friend Lauren Harrison.
Those who attended the court appearance in support of Taylor were escorted to their cars by police, Langford reported.
Taylor’s defense attorney made a brief statement:
“The family members here, along with my client, send out their heartfelt sympathies and prayers to the victim and her family,” attorney Patrick O’Connell said.
Following the day’s events in court, Goode’s family and friends gathered at Smith Point Beach in Suffolk County for a vigil that was planned before they knew Taylor would be in court on the same day, CBS 2’s Matt Kozar reported.
More than 200 people attended the vigil at a place that was a favorite for Goode and her daughter.
“Help us say goodbye and honor her short life,” Goode’s aunt Patricia Urizzo said.
The wind off the ocean was not strong enough to extinguish the glowing candles, but some like Jahayra Delgado feel like their spirit is broken.
“I just don’t understand why he would do something like that,” she said.
Taylor has also been charged with attempted rape in an unrelated case. He’s being held without bail.
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