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Friend remembers Bladen Co. native killed in Raleigh

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Three people have been charged with the Raleigh murder of a Bladen County native.

Melissa Huggins-Jones moved to Raleigh from Tennessee two weeks before her death May 14.

A friend describes her as someone who loved life and loved the people in her life. She had just moved to raleigh looking for a new start when it all came to an end.

"We just always had a great time together. There were several years when we were inseparable," Heather Mintz, who also lives in Raleigh, said.

Mintz says Huggins-Jones was one of her best friends growing up. They went to church together and spent most of their time together laughing and enjoying life.

Mintz says even though she had not seen her old friend recently, they were planning a reunion.

"Between a text message we finally planned a time to get together, and that was Tuesday night, which ended up being the night of the day they found her dead," Mintz said.

Mintz says one of the most important things in Huggins-Jones's life were her two children.

"Melissa would want to know that people are celebrating the life that she did live and just making sure that her children that are raised in the faith and a positive and nurturing environment since she is not here to make sure she has that," she said.

And if she could say one final thing to her friend?

"I would just say that... that she is loved and missed by many, and that she is leaving a wonderful legacy in her children that are still with us today," Mintz said.

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God bless this family. My

God bless this family. My thoughts & prayers go out to you. May God bless you with a way to deal with this senseless act.