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‘Your baby matters to us’: Vigil held to honor slain Oakwood woman
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A vigil was held Saturday, Sept. 17, in Flowery Branch in memory of Jordan Gooch, a 27-year-old woman who was fatally stabbed last year. (Photo provided to The Times)

The family of Jordan Gooch doesn’t want her to be forgotten.

The vivacious and charming 27-year-old woman who never met a stranger was killed just over a year ago in Oakwood. 

The family said they are still waiting for justice since Gooch’s death Sept. 14, 2021.

“We don’t want who she was to be taken away because of what happened to her,” Gooch’s mother Deneen Boyd said.

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A vigil was held Saturday, Sept. 17, in memory of Jordan Gooch, a 27-year-old woman who was fatally stabbed last year. Above, Gooch is pictured with her father, Ondre Gooch. (Photo provided to The Times)

Family and friends held a vigil to honor Gooch Saturday, Sept. 17, in Flowery Branch.

With rows and rows of people dressed in powder blue T-shirts, the Rev. Tony Wright asked the family to turn around to see that people still care about Gooch.

“Your baby matters to us,” Wright said. “Your baby is a treasured person that allowed us to cross paths and has positively impacted our lives.”

Gooch’s boyfriend, Emmanuel Kevin Harris Jr., 32, was indicted in October 2021 for fatally stabbing Gooch. He was charged with malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a felony.

Organizers of the vigil invited representatives from the Partnership Against Domestic Violence to speak at the vigil and offer information. The speaker noted that it takes a person on average seven to nine attempts before someone is able to leave an abusive relationship.

The speaker also discussed the red flags of a potentially abusive relationship, such as certain controlling behaviors and attempts to move the relationship along quickly.

“If Jordan’s passing can help somebody else to live, then it helps with her passing for me,” Gooch’s father Ondre Gooch said.

Wright reminded the crowd gathered at the vigil of how he remembers Gooch, the girl with the biggest smile and hug who always had a kind word to share.

Jordan’s sister, Kennedy Gooch, said Jordan was a very confident and independent person.

“She could make you kinda feel like you were her best friend even though you guys might have just talked for a few minutes,” Kennedy Gooch said.

Jordan Gooch previously worked as a sales representative and had completed a sales manager course before her death.

Kennedy said her sister wasn’t keen on a 9-to-5 office job, but she was really good with people.

As an impressive cook, Gooch’s side hustle was meal planning for friends. 

The 27-year-old dreamed of going to Paris and seeing the Eiffel Tower, a goal she wanted to achieve by her 30th birthday.

The family had a tradition of going on a beach trip to the Destin area every couple of years, though it has been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boyd and Kennedy Gooch said they plan to spread Jordan’s ashes at the beach and make a trip to Paris on what would be Jordan’s 30th birthday to spread there as well.

The trial for Harris has been set for November.

Harris’ defense attorney, Chris van Rossem, said his client has maintained since the beginning that he acted in self-defense.

“We hope people will wait to make judgments until they hear both sides,” van Rossem said.

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Family members and friends gathered at a vigil held Saturday, Sept. 17, in Flowery Branch in memory of Jordan Gooch, a 27-year-old woman who was fatally stabbed last year.(Photo provided to The Times)
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Jordan Gooch's mother, Deneen Boyd, with her sister and Jordan’s aunt Jasonya Stubbs at a vigil Saturday, Sept. 17, in memory of Gooch, a 27-year-old woman who was fatally stabbed last year. (Provided to the Times).