Small memorial grows outside of Conway church where 17-year-old’s body was found

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 1:15 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2021 at 7:12 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – It could be a couple of months before authorities know what caused a young woman’s death in Conway.

Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard told WMBF News that 17-year-old Angelina “AJ” Pacheco’s body had been outside Coastal Community Church, off Highway 378, for a few hours before it was found early Wednesday morning.

Willard added that it would take about eight weeks for the cause of death to be determined.

The coroner’s office said that Pacheco died Tuesday night and her body was placed at the church.

It’s where a small memorial of flowers and stuffed animals has been growing since the announcement of her death. Her obituary shows that she was a loving daughter, granddaughter, sister and friend who loved nature, fishing, skateboarding and singing.

Throughout the day on Monday, family and friends stopped by the memorial to remember Pacheco, including her grandfather. While he didn’t want to go on camera, he said he raised her since she was a baby. He added that it’s hard not having closure and knowing exactly what happened to her.

One of Pacheco’s closest friends, Emma Marie Harrelson, also stopped by the memorial on Monday.

She remembered the last time she saw her friend.

“She was always there for me. I don’t have her texting my phone anymore, asking how I am. She was just smiling, and laughing and hugging me,” Harrelson said. “I just wish I could see her one last time.”

Harrelson added that she’s frustrated because she knows if she was there, she would have done everything possible to get her help.

The Conway Police Department arrested 19-year-old Chandler Richardson on Wednesday in connection to Pacheco’s death.

RELATED COVERAGE | 17-year-old girl found dead outside Conway church, 19-year-old charged

Chandler Richardson
Chandler Richardson(JRLDC)

An arrest warrant states that Richardson failed to render aid to Pacheco following an incident where he was driving a vehicle.

The document also show that Richardson left her where she was found, resulting in her death.

He is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Jail records show he was released Thursday on a $30,000 bond.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help Pachenco’s family with funeral costs

The family said they plan to hold a candlelight vigil Wednesday at Coastal Community Church.

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