Velma Celebrates the Life of Braylee Rae Henry

    The community of Velma gathered today to celebrate the life of 16-year-old Braylee Rae Henry. Braylee was reported missing last Wednesday night after last heading in to the Tee Pee Totem convenience store.
    With the help of K9 dogs the Stephens County Sheriffs Office was able to recover Braylee's body in an oil field East of the store.
          The store clerk, 21-year-old Miles Bench  is charged with first degree murder. Authorities say bench drove off in Brayee's car,  but they were able to locate him because of ONSTAR and then arrest him.
       The Stephens County District Attorney says that when Bench was arrested he had blood on his clothes and blood was found inside the car. Inside the vehicle they found hair color and clippers, authorities believe he was attempting to conceal his identity. Monday, he appeared in court where the judge denied bail.
           But Tuesday, friends family and the community put aside the investigation to remember the life of Braylee.
    The Velma- Alma High School gym was filled to capacity and overflowing, a standing room only funeral for Braylee Rae Henry, a girl who used to play basketball there.
              Her teammates wore their jerseys in honor of their friend while others at the service wore teal and purple, her two favorite colors.
    "Ive been gone for like I said for over 20 years and this really hit home with me this being my home town them being my family away from my family," said family friend Dorothy Ray.
    "She was one of the nicest people I'd ever met. She was really outgoing.She was really a church girl," said Ethen Eaves, a friend who met Braylee at church camp two years ago.
    Purple ribbons seen around town were tied around fences and signs in honor of the Velma teen. Residents had the same reaction, saying that crimes like this just don't happen in Velma, Oklahoma. But family friend Dorothy Ray says Braylee's family is remaining strong.
    "They have strong faith they are a tight knit family the community has really stepped up together. And I'm very proud to say that im from Velma," said Ray.
    But strong faith and time are what will be needed to  help this community begin to heal after the loss of one of its own
       Miles Bench, the man charged with Braylee's murder, will appear in court August 13th for a preliminary hearing.

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