The Connecticut teenager who was fatally stabbed just hours before her prom was remembered at a seaside vigil with many of her classmates wearing their prom outfits.
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Maren Sanchez, 16, was killed Friday morning, stabbed by another student in an attack in the hallways of Jonathan Law High School in Milford, Conn. According to reports, Sanchez told her attacker she would not go to the prom with him.
The news of Sanchez's death came just hours before the junior prom was supposed to begin on Friday.
Sanchez, a member of the National Honor Society, had even posted a photo of herself wearing her prom dress to the school's prom Facebook page.
At Friday night's vigil, students wearing prom dresses and tuxes held up Sanchez' dress as they remembered her.
Students later released star-shaped balloons in purple, which was Sanchez's favorite color. According to the Hartford-Courant Newspaper, approximately 200 people attended the vigil and students shouted out words to describe Sanchez, such as "kind-hearted" and "best friend." They reportedly said "love you Maren" as they let the balloons go.
Sanchez's classmates and the school paper shared remembrances of the slain teen on social networks under the hashtags #RIPMaren and #Milfordstrong.
Earlier in the day, students painted a rock near the school purple and put Sanchez's birthday on it to honor her.
The community and Sanchez' family were left reeling following the teen's death. Sanchez' drama adviser Michael Mele told The Associated Press that Sanchez was excited about going to the prom with her new boyfriend.
"Here is this girl with her freshly painted prom nails, painting the set, and just having a great time with her classmates talking about plans for the prom and plans for after prom and going on a double date with another one of the drama kids and her new boyfriend," Mele told the AP.
In a statement Sanchez's family called the teenager a "bright light."
"The unprovoked attack on Maren this morning has unfortunately for our family resulted in the permanent loss of Maren Victoria Sanchez, a bright light full of hopes and dreams with her future at her fingertips," Sanchez' cousin, Edward Kovac, told reporters Friday.
According to the twitter of the Jonathan Law High School newspaper, The Advocate, grief counselors and support staff will be at the school to help students and teachers deal with the trauma.
ABC News' Alyssa Newcomb and Aaron Katersky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.