By Bonnie Adams, Government Editor
Westborough – In a solemn candlelight ceremony tonight held at the Bay State Commons, hundreds of Westborough residents gathered to honor the memory of one of their own, Elizabeth “Lizzi” Marriott.
Earlier in the day, the New Hampshire attorney general's office said Marriott, 19, who had been missing since Tuesday night, Oct. 9, was dead. Although her body has not yet been found, a New Hampshire man, Seth Mazzaglia, has been arrested in connection with her death. Marriott was a native of Westborough who had been living with her aunt in Chester, NH while she attended the University of New Hampshire.
Pastor John Wesley Taylor, the senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church, opened the ceremony as a candle was lit on the stage of the Bay State Commons gazebo to represent the light, he said, “that was Lizzi.” Friends of Marriott then lit individual candles which they then shared with the crowd, creating a sea of light.
“We must confront evil with love,” Taylor urged. “Love is stronger than hate.”
Marriott's father, Robert, also addressed the audience. He thanked those who had come out on the chilly evening, he said, for their help in? turning his daughter into “an amazing person.”
“Together we created an angel,” he said, emotion choking his voice. “And she's home in heaven.”
Pastor Paul Sangree, the senior pastor of the Congregational Church of Westborough, noted that it was important to stand and support not only the Marriott family, but the “Westborough family” as well.
“Have an open heart and show each other love,” he added.
Marriott was a sophomore in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture at UNH where she was studying marine biology. She was in her first semester at UNH.
She disappeared on Tuesday night, Oct. 9 after telling friends she had plans to visit a friend in Dover but she never showed up. After she also failed to report to work the next day, her family and friends became alarmed and launched a search for her. According to the FaceBook page, “Help Find Lizzi Marriott” over 1000 flyers were distributed throughout Portsmouth area over the last few days.
In a statement, Mark W. Huddleston, UNH's president, said the school was “greatly saddened” to learn of Marriott's death.
“We extend our deepest sympathies to her family and friends,” Huddleston said. “Lizzi was a new member of the university community and will be missed in our classrooms. Our focus now will be on supporting our campus community during this difficult time.”
“University officials were also shocked to learn a UNH alum has been charged in connection with Marriott's death,” the statement continued. “Seth Mazzaglia graduated in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in theater.”
According to the FaceBook page, a fund has been set up to support the Marriott Family.
Donations may be sent to:
Central One Credit Union
714 Main Street Shrewsbury, MA 01545
ABA/Routing #: 211387169
Account Name: Marriott Family Fund
Account # 80064628
Anyone making a donation can also go to any Central One Credit Union, send a check, send from their online bank account, or PayPal.
For more information contact Robbi Rubenstein at 508-612-8838.