Just days before what would have been Holly Bobo's 26th birthday, friends, family, and strangers gathered at her hometown church to honor her.
"Even five years later, it's still emotional," said Holly's high school friend Marybeth Helms.
Holly disappeared from her home on April 13, 2011. In September 2013, her remains were discovered in Decatur County. Three men will soon stand trial for her rape and murder.
But Helms said Holly shouldn't be remembered for her death.
"Her story is more than April 13, 2011," Helms said. "I think people thought she was quiet - and she was, but she was also funny. She was silly. She was probably one of the silliest people I've ever known."
Helms, along with dozens of others, released 300 pink and lime green balloons outside of Corinth Baptist Church Sunday morning. A banner with Holly's picture hung near the church steps.
"We know one day we’ll be able to see her again because the Bible says to be absent of the body is to be present of the Lord," said Pastor Don Franks. "Of course we miss her, but we know there’s a day coming when we’ll all be together.”
Helms said she hopes wherever the balloons eventually land will send a message to whoever sees them.
"I want them to see the balloons and remember who she was when she was here," Helms said. "I want people to think about love when they think about Holly."