Family and friends gather at vigil to remember woman set on fire

The Alexandria woman died last year after being set on fire.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (WUSA9) - Delores "Sweetie" Williams has been gone exactly one year. The Alexandria woman died last year after being set on fire.

Saturday night, her family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil in front of the home Williams loved so much. Even a year later, the emotions are still raw for her loved ones. 

Williams was a descendant of the Quander family which is the oldest documented African-American family in the United States. But her legacy is that of a domestic violence victim.

RELATED: Finding Quander: The journey of one of America’s oldest documented black families 

Fairfax County Police said Williams' live-in boyfriend Lewis Reeder threw a flammable liquid on her and set her on fire in her bedroom on November 19 of last year.

At Saturday's vigil, her loved ones prayed, sang, and reflected on the memories they had of the matriarch of the family, who everyone called "Sweetie." 

Williams suffered third-degree burns over 80 percent of her body. At the hospital, she was kept unconscious because the burns were so deep and painful. She held on for nearly two weeks. 

Shortly after her death, her family started a website in her name, to raise awareness about domestic violence. 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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