Friends and family of Samantha Olson gathered Thursday evening for a vigil outside the Walgreens store located at the intersection of McCain and JFK boulevards in North Little Rock, where Olson was fatally shot Aug. 14, 2013, while driving with her 11-month-old daughter in the back seat.
Olson — a North Little Rock resident who at age 31 was killed in what appeared to be a random, drive-by shooting — was honored and remembered a year later as her family continues to struggle with what happened to her.
Olson's father, Stan Doucet, 69, said he hopes no one has to go through what his family has since Olson's death.
"I didn't think I had this much emotion, this much emotion still pent up inside of me," Doucet said. "Apparently I do. It is just hard. This being the one year anniversary, I knew it was going to be a hard day … but it's just hard to deal with."
Doucet said one of the hardest parts is knowing that Olson's killer is still out there.
Officers from the North Little Rock Police Department were also present at the memorial service. While detectives continue to investigate Olson's murder, police said leads have dwindled, even with a $15,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest. The shooter's vehicle is described as a maroon F-150 truck built sometime between 2004 and 2008, police said.
April Welshhons, 26, Olson's younger sister, said losing Olson was heartbreaking and that the world lost a warm and wonderful person on the day she died.
"I miss her every day," Welshhons said. "She was an amazing mom, she loved her baby girl, she loved my daughter that was her niece, she was just amazing. It's hard to know she's not here anymore."
Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more on this story.