Family and friends of Destinee Virgin create GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses
Funeral and visitation plans have been announced in the wake of the murdered 18-year-old who reportedly was running away from her ex-boyfriend amid midtown Columbus traffic when she was fatally shot.
Destinee Virgin, a 2018 Carver High School graduate, was shot to death Sept. 22. Her ex-boyfriend, Markel Ervin, 17, was arrested and charged with murder. He was out on bond after allegedly kidnapping her April 25. One condition of his bond was that he stay away from Virgin.
The viewing will be Saturday, from noon to 2 p.m., in Progressive Funeral Home, 4235 St. Marys Road. The funeral will be Sunday, starting at 2 p.m., in the funeral home’s chapel.
A GoFundMe account had been set up to help Virgin’s family pay for funeral expenses. But the page was taken down and the money was returned to the donors, asking them to donate instead “to other victims and organizations that raise awareness of abusive relationships and mental health,” Virgin’s aunt Tramayne Meier told the Ledger-Enquirer in a Facebook message Thursday.
According to her obituary, Virgin is the daughter of Mechelle Virgin and the granddaughter of Felisha and Phillip Virgin. She was born Aug. 23, 2000, at Fort Benning. While attending Carver, she excelled at track and field and was a member of the JROTC program.
Since graduating from Carver this year, she was attending a training program at the First Step Health Agency in Columbus to become a medical assistant.
Testimony during Ervin’s preliminary hearing Tuesday in Columbus Recorder’s Court described the moments immediately before and after Virgin’s death.
She leaped from her eastbound Nissan Maxima at the red light on Macon Road at Rigdon Road and ran west through traffic, calling for help, trying at times to open other car doors to escape Ervin, who chased her with a gun, according to dozens of motorists who saw this, police said.
They watched horrified as Ervin caught up to her and gunned her down, firing multiple shots with a 9 mm pistol before he returned to the Nissan and sped away.
That night, Ervin ditched the car in Harris County and had a run-in with sheriff’s deputies, fleeing into the woods and prompting a search, said Columbus police Cpl. Robert Nicholas. Authorities caught him there in the morning, and recovered Virgin’s silver 2004 Nissan with its paper “tag applied for” license plate, Nicholas said.
Staff writer Tim Chitwood contributed to this report.