Vigil held for missing Linden mother who recently recovered from shooting

LINDEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- Who tried to kill Tyrita Julius? First with eight bullets, and when that didn't do it, did that same person, months later, kidnap her?

Those searing questions were being asked Wednesday night at an emotional vigil in New Jersey.

No one has seen Julius since last week. Not her friends, her large family, or her two teenage kids. They fear the worst.

In a cavernous church sanctuary Wednesday night, they sang, and they cried, and they prayed.

An entire congregation came together to lift up one of its families, in what could be their darkest hour.

"It's just an uncomfortable feeling in your stomach, in the pit of your belly," said. "All I know is we want her home and we want her back."

Julius vanished, seemingly without a trace, after a friend dropped her off at the Long Branch train station last Tuesday.

"It's unbelievable," said Lauren Wigfall, the victim's best friend. "She wasn't depressed, she wasn't sad, you know, just a normal day."

What makes this case even more mysterious is the violent attack Julius endured just five months ago.

In November, she and her then-15-year-old daughter were in their car on the way to a college basketball game, when a man walked up and opened fire, hitting Julius eight times.

Police never solved that case. Julius had only just recovered, when she disappeared last week.

Police say there's no sign the two cases have any connection whatsoever.

"People are in pain, and its difficult being in pain, but God can help us, even in this situation of heartache and despair," said Pastor Derrick Dumas, of First Baptist Church.

Now for the Julius family, there was little they could do but pray.

Their church community united in faith, which, at this point, is about all they have.

"Tyrita we love you. All your family, all your friends, everyone, we all love you, and we are just waiting for you to come home," said
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