MARION -- At 2 p.m. today, Margaret Rasor will gather with her family and friends for a celebration of the life of her firstborn, Kendra Ardery. Among those attending will be Ardery's five young children.
Ardery's body was found in rural Williamson County on Monday, Aug. 12. Thomas D. McCoy, 48, of West Frankfort, has been charged with murdering the 29-year-old by beating her about the head and neck, and then concealing her body in rural Williamson County.
McCoy is being held in the Franklin County jail on $5 million bond. According to judici.com, he will appear for a bail review at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16 and a preliminary hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 4.
Rasor said that along with dealing with her daughter's brutal murder, she has encountered both those who genuinely want to help, and those who may be attempting to profit from her family's grief.
"People that have nothing to do with my daughter have fundraisers going," she said, referring to at least two gofundme.com events.
"One of them didn't even have her name spelled right," she said.
That event was listed as "Funeral experience Kendra Audery" and has raised $165 of a $1,000 goal.
"I called them (the originator of the account) and they said they were raising money to help the family," she said. "I don't even know them."
Rasor said that the only legitimate online fundraiser is on her own Facebook page. "It's raised just over $1,000," she said, "mostly my co-workers who wanted to help."
Rasor said she has also encountered harsh comments about her daughter made on social media.
"People are wanting to make her into an ugly person," she said. She's not at all. She just had a line of bad luck."
Rasor said her daughter loved her children. "Those kids were her world," she said. The youngest was born on June 20. "We named her Malia Faith," Rasor said
For now, four of Ardery's children are in Rasor's care, while the fifth is with a legal guardian.
Rasor said she has also encountered kindness.
Dark Horse ministries in Marion donated the use of its building, known as "The Stable," for Ardery's celebration of life service today.
That service will begin at 2 p.m. The address is 210 E. Union St. in Marion.
"The funeral home has been incredibly kind," said Rasor.
Raymond Savant, owner of Murman and Wilson Funeral Home in Johnston City, is handling Ardery's arrangements.
"When People who die young or from tragedies," said Savant, "a lot of times people don't have the money (for a service), especially these days. I just do what I can to keep the costs down."
And even though he's in the business, Savant said dealing with the tragic death of someone so young is tough.
Rasor said she is grateful for the kindness of people like Savant.
"She was my little girl," she said. "She was a mother who loved her kids. She didn't deserve this."