High Surf Advisory issued January 26 at 3:34AM EST expiring January 27 at 7:00AM EST in effect for: Pinellas
Two communities separated by religion were joined by grief Wednesday in Tampa Bay.
In Tampa, relatives of a murdered teenager in Jerusalem rallied for peace while the Jewish community in Clearwater memorialized three more slain teenagers.
Mohammed Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped and murdered Tuesday, has relatives in Tampa.
"We were up all night with family members in disbelief,” said Eman Abu Khdeir, a cousin of the 16-year-old.
She joined others to raise awareness. Abu Khdeir also shared pictures of her cousin that showed his personality.
"He's like the comedian. He's always laughing. Always had a smile on his face," she said.
Early Wednesday morning, the teenager sat on a wall in a town near Jerusalem waiting on morning prayer.
A car pulled up, men grabbed Mohammed, and sped off. His burned body was found about an hour later.
Another of his cousins living in Tampa, Reem Kader, says, "You killed an innocent human being for no reason. It's hard for the parents to understand. It's hard for every single person here to understand."
Like the rest of her family in the Tampa area, she was up all night in shock.
“I did not go to sleep at all,” she said. “I kid you not."
The loss of young life is also being felt by the local Jewish community. They held a memorial service at Temple B'nai in Clearwater. Rabbi Daniel Treiser says, "When something happens in a Jewish community in one part of the world, we all feel it to some sense."
Three Israeli teens were kidnapped June 12. Their bodies were found Monday in the West Bank.
Israeli police say they are investigating whether the Palestinian murder was retaliation. Regardless, Eman Abu Khdeir said all of the murderers should be found.
"I hope they find who did this, and I hope they prosecute them,” she said. “If they are Arabic, Israelis, Christians, Muslims, it does not matter. Whoever did this needs to be prosecuted."