‘She was my best friend, my everything;’ Loved-ones hold vigil remembering J’Naysia Marie Hobbs

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Dozens of loved ones are bidding farewell to a young Peoria mother.

Community members sent off Purple and Silver balloons into the fading sky Friday night. Each balloon soared in honor of J’Naysia Marie Hobbs, 24, who Peoria police said was killed Wednesday morning.

“She was my best friend, my everything, my sweetheart,” Love Marie Hobbs, J’Naysia’s mother, said.

Hobbs said when she immediately flew out to Peoria from Florida when she found out what happened to her daughter. She said the memories of her daughter are the only things helping to keep her moving forward.

“They [the world] have lost an angel, they really have,” Hobbs said. “J’Naysia in her short life, she impacted so many lives. It’s always the good ones, not saying good as in behavior, but the hearts of those that die young.”

Family, friends, and co-workers held a packed vigil Friday night to mourn J’Naysia’s loss and honor her life. Hobbs said her daughter worked with Alzheimer’s patients, loved helping people, and was simply taken too soon.

Tahir Goodman, 28, is now sitting inside the Peoria County Jail in connection with J’Naysia’s murder. J’Naysia’s family said Goodman was her boyfriend. He’s accused of strangling her and setting a house on fire with her still inside.

Goodman is charged 1st Degree Murder and Aggravated Arson. Records from the Peoria County Jail show Goodman has been arrested twice since 2017 for domestic battery, with the most recent arrest being on Oct. 20.

Hobbs said she never met Goodman in person, only through Facetime, and said she never knew there were problems between him and her daughter.

“I never saw any signs or anything and whatever it was if it was anything she kept it from me,” Hobbs said.

She said in addition to prison time, she also wants Goodman to ‘get better.’

“I hope he gets the time that’s needed for him and I also hope that he gets help,” Hobbs said. “I do. I hope that he gets help.”

Hobbs said her daughter leaves behind two sons, and she left a message for women who might find themselves in similar situations.

“For any girl that’s out here, let me tell you something, that’s dealing with domestic violence, cut it short,” Hobbs said. “No man should ever call you out of your name but “beautiful” and “beloved” and if he calls you anything or treats you anyway less — let him go.”

Family members also set up a GoFundMe to help pay for funeral costs.

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