Update: 750 to attend Whitworth vigil

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – A candle lighting ceremony to remember the downtown business owner who was shot and killed over the weekend is scheduled for Wednesday, according to a Facebook notice.
Police found William “Blaine” Whitworth, 25, dead at the scene Saturday night after responding to a call about shots fired in the 1000 block of Sunflower, according to a news release from the Warrensburg Police Department. The call came at 9:30 p.m.
Whitworth operated Bodie’s and Molly’s, two bars in downtown Warrensburg. He also studied safety management at UCM, according to his Facebook page.
The candle lighting ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. with people gathering at Molly’s at the corner of Holden and East Pine streets. According to the Facebook notice, Diane Whitworth, Blaine’s mother, will light the first candle at 9:30 p.m.
Some 750 people have so far responded to the notice to say they would attend.
Jessica Rene Lewis started the announcement for the candlelight vigil. Lewis said she met Whitworth on business — providing him with T-shirts, banners and signs.
“After he came in a few times our sarcastic attitudes just clicked and we became really good friends,” Lewis said.
She said she initiated the vigil to give people a chance to pay their respects.
“He knew a lot of people in Warrensburg and did so much for everyone and this town,” Lewis said. “I just thought it would help heal a lot of broken hearts and I knew that not everyone could attend the Garden City visitation.”
A total of 35 investigators gathered Tuesday to assist the Warrensburg Police Department in the case, according to a news release from WPD Chief Bruce Howey. This is the Missouri Rural Major Case Squad, which has members from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, police and sheriff’s personnel from Johnson, Pettis, Henry, Lafayette, Saline and Ray counties. The Highway Patrol Sergeant Division of Drug and Crime Control and its Violent Crime Support Unit are also assisting in the case.
Johnson County Sheriff Chuck Heiss is the officer in charge.
Police have not announced any suspects or motives.
Anyone with information can call the police department at 660-747-9133.
[email_link]