Emotions high during talent show to remember classmate, teacher

HOPE MILLS, N.C. (WTVD) -- It was an emotional night at a tribute to a student and teacher who tragically lost their lives this school year.

The families of murdered student Danielle Locklear and math teacher Neil Parnell watched as South View High School students put on a talent show to raise money for a memorial for their loved ones.

There was a lot of good talent on the stage. However, it wasn't about the performance, but the effort.

"I think standing there in front of everyone I was nervous, but for Danielle and Mr. Parnell, I felt great doing it," said senior Willaneda Levicy.

Levicy was one of more than a dozen acts that took the stage Thursday night to honor Locklear and Parnell. It was a show of love and support that touched the families.

"It says a lot that many people knew and loved and liked my dad," said William Neil Parnell IV.

"I am happy to see everybody out here, and it really helps lift our spirits, but at the same time it's sad," said Locklear's aunt, Chena Papa.

In April, deputies recovered Locklear's body from a river along the Cumberland-Sampson County line. Deputies say she was killed weeks earlier by her ex-boyfriend.

Earlier this month, Parnell was killed when he struck a stopped a school bus near Lillington.

The pain and grief is not how South View students want this school year to end. That's why they put on this talent show. It was a show of love that touched everyone's hearts.

"It's very encouraging. I actually grew up in Fayetteville," said Parnell's mother,Deborah Parnell. "So to come back after so many years and be enveloped in closeness and love. It's very uplifting and nice to see."

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