SOUTHEN PINES, N.C. (WTVD) -- Friends and family gathered in Southern Pines Wednesday to pay tribute to Allisha Watts, the Moore County woman who was killed after going missing in July.
Friends honored her through a tree-planting ceremony which came on what would have been Watts' 40th birthday.
They said Watts loved plants, and that they planted a cherry blossom tree in Blanchie Carter Park because it was her favorite.
"Tree has life and she was so full of life," said Dorothy Brower, Allisha Watts' mentor. "(A)nd every opportunity she got, she helped to elevate people. So this tree represents growth and if it grows to the sky, it'll be perfect."
Friends said the cherry blossom represents Watts' strength and beauty--inside and out. They also say having a tree planted in the community is their way of preserving her memory forever among the many people she served and supported.
"Her heart would just be overjoyed just to see all of the love that she gave out through her entire life to anybody, just to see it poured back into her life and her legacy," said Learen Blue, Watts' close friend.
Her loved ones say they will also hold a birthday party for Watts on Sunday afternoon in Pinebluff's Cardinal Park.