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FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2007
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Friends, co-workers plan vigil for missing mom, daughter

SCOTTSBORO (AP) — Friends and co-workers of a woman who has been missing for six weeks along with her 11-year-old daughter will hold a candlelight prayer service Saturday in Scottsboro.

Co-worker Kristy Wright said the vigil for Kim Whitton, 36, and daughter Haleigh Culwell will begin at 6 p.m. at the Goosepond Colony Amphiteather.

"We don't want people to forget," she said.

The two have been missing since June 21 when Whitton was last seen at her job as a nurse at the Cloverdale Manor nursing home in Scottsboro. Co-workers filed a missing person report with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department on June 28.

FBI Special Agent Curtis Parker testified at a July 17 bond hearing in Huntsville that
Whitton's husband, Barry Van Whitton, 38, is a suspect in her and her daughter's disappearance.

Parker said Whitton is also a suspect in the murder of his first wife, Michelle, who was slain 10 years ago.

A federal judge denied bond for Whitton, who was arrested at his 40-acre farm and charged with being a convicted felon in possession of firearms.

He was indicted in federal court Tuesday on the charge.

Chief Investigator Doyle York said Wednesday that evidence taken from Whitton's farm, including blood stains found in a truck and on a hatchet, is being tested by the FBI.

Wright said Saturday's event will include music, free refreshments and the release of balloons at sunset.

Donations will also be accepted to help Kim Whitton's family defray costs in their search and any legal expenses.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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