WAYLAND, Mich. ( June 26, 2014) — The community of Wayland continues to mourn the death of a 21-year-old mother.
Kassandra Keyzer had a 3-year-old son and was engaged to be married in July. Her former classmates gathered at Wayland High School on Thursday evening to remember their friend.
“I can’t fathom it still. It’s still not real, like there’s still no explanation as to why,” said Alexandra Hogentyk.
Friends shared stories Thursday evening outside the school where Keyzer graduated in 2011.
“She’d hang out with everyone. She brought groups of kids together,” said Nikki Deraad. “”There would be different groups of people that they associate themselves with, whether it be sports or different clubs. She was kind of one of the people that would be a part of all of those things.
Michigan State Police said that Kassandra’s cousin, Joshua Keyzer, 15, killed her and slit the throat of his grandmother, Sharon Keyzer. Sharon had already been battling cancer at the time of the attack. She’s recovering in the hospital.
Joshua Keyzer went before a judge on Thursday and was charged as an adult for murdering Kassandra and attempting to murder his grandmother.
Kassandra was a student at Aquinas College. Friends said that her fiance is the perfect role model for her son.
Kassandra’s former sociology teacher said that she was an ideal student and even helped put a smile on his face on days when he needed it most. “She certainly got rid of this grumpy old man’s bad days, and I had a few,” said Brian Pavey.
“The best thing about Kassie is she’s the ideal of a what a human being should be,” said Pavey.
Pavey said classmates gathered in the same location Kassie’s class built a sociology project.
“There wasn’t anyone that she didn’t make feel wonderful. Teachers, staff, it didn’t make any difference,” said Pavey.
The Keyzer family church asks that the public pray for Sharon Keyzer’s recovery.