‘I Was Devastated': Friend of Slain Tamarac Woman Speaks Out

About half a mile away from where Kayla Hodgson’s body was found, detectives also investigated an apparent murder-suicide

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Video shared with NBC 6 shows a Thursday night candlelight vigil in Hollywood held in honor of 23-year-old Kayla Hodgson.

Meanwhile, in Tamarac, homicide investigators with the Broward Sheriff's Office were seen collecting evidence at the Tamarac Village Apartment complex for a second consecutive night, where Hodgson's body was found inside her apartment Wednesday. 

“She was just really sweet. She was the life of the party. She always had kind words,” said Hodgson’s friend and former employer, Swana Alphonse.

Alphonse says Hodgson was a well-known South Florida bottle waitress and was beloved by her friends, family and colleagues. 

“I mean, I was devastated. Most of my employees were as well, especially the ones that knew her, and worked alongside with her,” said Alphonse.  “... It’s just crazy and it’s scary, because you know, we’re all bartenders and waitresses. And that could have been any one of us.”

While detectives haven’t revealed Hodgson’s manner of death, family and friends say she was stabbed. 

“The fact that they're still in there would indicate that they're finding a significant amount of evidence, number one. And number two, that they want to be very detailed so that they could find the person responsible for it,” said former South Florida police chief, Frank Fernandez. 

The investigation into Hodgson’s death was not the only homicide investigation handled by BSO Thursday. 

Early Thursday morning, BSO detectives worked an apparent murder-suicide shooting of a man and woman, about half a mile away from where Hodgson’s body was found Wednesday.

Four children were also found inside the home and were unharmed.

BSO says the two homicide investigations are not related.  

Hodgson’s loved ones say they’re going to launch a fundraiser to cover her funeral arrangements.

“For all the family, all the friends, anyone that knew her, met her, just stay strong,” said Alphonse. “... Understand that she is in a better place and she wants us to celebrate her, I’m sure.”

Investigators are asking anyone with information in Hodgson’s death to come forward.

You can remain anonymous by contacting Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Tips leading to an arrest will be eligible for a reward of up to $5,000.

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