JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The family of Lavinda Counce spoke out Thursday after an announcement was made to seek the death penalty in the Bay woman's case.
Counce went missing in July 2015 and police arrested Richard Tarver for her murder a few weeks later.
The 2nd Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington filed amended capital murder charges Thursday seeking the death penalty for Tarver.
Patsy Scott, a daughter of Counce, said her family supports his decision.
Ellington spoke with Scott and her family before he announced the decision.
Scott said they have been praying for justice for their mother since she went missing.
They are not the only ones asking for this.
Counce attended the NEA Wellness Center in Jonesboro to be a part of exercise classes.
Kara Fowler, a fitness coordinator at the center, said they still miss Counce in their classes.
She said she knows the time since they found her has been hard on the family.
"Well I know it was a hard time over Thanksgiving and Christmas and the new year and her birthday," Fowler said. "So this will be a good closure hopefully in seeking justice for her and for her family."
Scott knows they may not see anything for a while as the case moves through the court, but still cannot believe what happened.
"It's not something that you ever think will happen to your family in a little town like it did, but we're living it," Scott said.
To find some closure, the family erected a 12-foot cross in the spot where Counce's body was found.
Tarver is scheduled to be back in court on Mar. 3.
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