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Carjack Victim Buried In Shallotte

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SHALLOTTE, N.C. — One week ago Saturday, a Virginia family was on their way home when they made a stop in Greenville, North Carolina, a stop that ended in tragedy, allegedly at the hands of a carjacker.

This Saturday, friends and relatives came to Shallotte, North Carolina, to say goodbye to Ginger Hayes.

Family and friends say Hayes will be remembered through her son, Nicholas, who was with her during her final hours of life.

Hayes was just 23 years old when she lost her life last week.

Her husband, Jeremy Hayes, calls her a guardian angel who will watch over him and 11-month-old Nicholas.

"I feel like she'll be there to watch over him and everyone else she held dear," he said.

Ginger and Nicholas Hayes were kidnapped from a parking lot in Greenville last Saturday while her husband was in a drugstore. Her body was later found in a field.

Police believe she was beaten to death with a tire rim. Nicholas was dehydrated and severely sunburned when found, but he was alive.

"When I could hear Nicholas in the background (during the funeral), I knew we all had to go on for him. He's our miracle," said Debbie Evans, Jeremy Hayes' mother.

A relative carried an umbrella to shield Nicholas from the sun during the graveside service. His burns are healing, but for Nicholas and everyone who cared about Ginger Hayes, recovering from their grief will take much longer.

"It's a shock and it's so hard to understand when we understand God to be a loving and graceful God, how is such an evil and shocking thing is allowed," said family minister Vicky Johnson.

Johnson also offered thanks to the police, who made a quick arrest in the case. The suspect, Andre Edwards of Rocky Mount, has a long criminal history. Hayes' family says they will follow the case every step of the way.

Another memorial service is scheduled in Hampton, where Hayes lived with her husband and son.

A memorial fund has been set up for Nicholas Hayes. Donations can be sent to:

Old Point National Bank 1 West Mellon Street Hampton, Virginia 23663

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