Vigil for slain Ashtabula teen Kara Zdanczewski

Posted at 7:03 PM, May 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-13 13:08:52-04

Neighbors and classmates of a 13-year-old girl, who authorities believe was killed by a registered sex offender and family friend, paid their respects at a vigil held Friday in night Ashtabula.

The body of a girl, believed to be Kara Zdanczewski, was found Thursday night in a field in Saybrook Township, which is also in Ashtabula County. A medical examiner was working to confirm the body's identity.

Friday's vigil took place outside the St. Joseph Church on Lake Avenue, where classmates and faculty at Lakeside Junior School could be seen crying and hugging, candles in hand.

“This girl probably knew this gentleman, so this could be anybody," parent of a 12-year-old girl Kristy Hosken said.

Police said the girl's mother failed to report her missing until 36 hours after her disappearance. Friday's vigil was planned by Ashtabula neighbors who said they did not know the girl personally.

Police in Sharon, PA arrested John Bove, 46, on Thursday in connection with Zdanczewski's disappearance. As of Friday, he was charged with kidnapping. Bove is a registered sex offender in Ohio. 

Police in Ashtabula said it's unclear if the girl's family was aware of Bove's sex offender past.

Now, parents in Ashtabula are holding their children closer.

“It doesn’t matter who they are, what they say, call mom and dad," Hosken said. "You don’t ever just go with anybody.”