Sierah's Legacy: Touching lives everywhere

Sierah's Legacy: Touching lives everywhere
(Source: WTOL)

(WTOL) - In July of 2016, 20-year-old Sierah Joughin was kidnapped and killed after a rural bike ride.

Not only did the tragedy hurt family but the entire community felt the loss of losing Sierah.

Her attacker was sentenced to death last week.

But moving forward, WTOL 11, along with the family and others in the community, want to focus on Sierah's life and legacy.

On Wednesday, WTOL 11 was able to do just that in a half hour special through those who loved her.

What is most extraordinary is how so many in northwest Ohio, southeast Michigan and beyond have been deeply touched by Sierah and her story.

We know she was a daughter, a girlfriend, a student. She was 20-years-old.

But Wednesday, her boyfriend, mom and aunt told us what made her laugh, that she was adventurous, that she took life by the horns and how she had her life ahead of her.

That is what made so many of you connect with Sierah, maybe because you see some of her in you, or someone you love. People showed an outpouring of compassion to her family that they're deeply grateful for.

"It was, community played a big part in it," Shelia Vaculik, Sierah's mom described. "I mean the way the community rallied around us when this happened was, I don't even have words for it. It was unbelievable."

Her legacy lives on.

Sierah's Law would create a violent criminal offender registry to alert of a convicted offender in your neighborhood. It's still being worked on at the statehouse.

Sierah's boyfriend, Josh Kolasinski, continues to honor her memory through an annual motorcycle ride. It raises money for a group which teaches self-defense to young girls.

WTOL 11 covered the trial, everyday, and what struck us is how close the Fulton County community is. And most important, the amount of grace and dignity of Sierah's loved ones throughout this excruciating process.

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