SOUTH BEND—The small prayer circle did not include any of the victim's family or friends.
Those 20 people who did show up in the parking lot of the Sinai Synagogue Thursday evening to pray for slain Eddy Street resident Deshone Caradine also prayed for the violence to stop.
"People do not realize how violence does affect us," said the Rev. Gilbert Washington, pastor at St. Paul Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and a neighborhood resident. "Folks feel removed. Folks feel dismissed.
"It's a heads-up," Washington said of Caradine's murder. "None of us are removed. Violence can reach any person in our community."
Violence reached Caradine during the early morning hours Jan. 18 inside her North Eddy Street apartment -- across Colfax Street from the synagogue's rear parking lot where the On Site Ministry group held its latest prayer vigil for a murder victim.
Autopsy results showed Caradine, 42, died from "numerous stab wounds... inflicted by a knife or similar object" before her 18-year-old son discovered her body in the bathroom of her apartment in the St. James Court Apartments at about 3:30 a.m.
Four days later, Chicago police arrested Manuel Clemon, 44 -- two days after South Bend prosecutors formally charged Clemon with Caradine's murder.
Police said Clemon, the father of one of Caradine's three children, fled in the victim's green Ford Focus titled in the name of Caradine's 22-year-old daughter, who currently serves in the U.S. Army.
The car was found the day of the slaying, abandoned in the drive-through lane of a bank on Chicago's South Side.
Chicago police tracked Clemon, first to his mother's home near the bank, then to a nearby motel where they found an abandoned room registered to "Shawn Clemon" with the keys to the Ford Focus lying on a dresser inside.
Clemon was finally apprehended Jan. 22 when he was pulled over in Chicago during a routine traffic stop.
Caradine's family members said the pair had been involved since childhood.
Residents living nearby said Caradine's murder sent shock waves through the neighborhood -- at first.
"Until we knew what happened, we thought it was a random act of violence," said Chris Cervenak.
Now, with Clemon locked up, neighborhood nerves have settled a bit. Cervenak admits she has "no problem" with her kids walking to school.
"Or walking the dog," she says. "It's good."
But with Caradine's homicide bookended with a double shooting on Adams Street last week that left 19-year-old Alejandro Tinoco-Calderon dead and his 19-year-old girlfriend, Jasmine ConLee, clinging to life support, On Site Ministry organizer Michael Elliott cautioned that prayer can only go so far in curbing violence.
"Along with prayer, you need people to control their emotions," Elliott said after the prayer vigil for Caradine had broken up.
"You can pray all you want, but it's up to the individual."
Staff writer Jeff Harrell: