‘She would make the whole room bright’: Community remembers Lilia Guyvoronsky

SEATTLE — On Tuesday, more than 100 people gathered to remember Lilia Guyvoronsky, 20, who was brutally killed inside her home late last month.

“She was 20 years old, and she was young, she was figuring out her life and she was a beautiful and talented young woman,” said Madison Darner, a close friend.

Police found Guyvoronsky’s body inside her bedroom strangled to death on April 30th.

But Darner wants to change that narrative.

“Kinda to take back the place that she was taken from and to lift her up and be able to help her know that this was still her safe place,” she said.

A vigil filled with candles, flower, balloons and crowds of loved ones took place in front of Guyvoronsky’s townhome.

“She cared for every single person and the intention behind her actions was so sincere and genuine. No one deserves to be murdered like that,” Darner added.

On Tuesday morning, Guyvoronsky’s ex-boyfriend, former Bothell city council member James McNeal, plead not guilty to her murder. He’s being held on $3 million bail.

Court documents reveal that Guyvoronsky and McNeal had gotten into a fight and broke up, just 3 days before she was found dead.

“They were in a relationship. That she cared for him at some points. That it came pretty toxic quickly,” Darner added. “She was trying to get away from it, we all saw that. She was done with that.”

City officials and local organizations spoke about the dangers of domestic violence. It’s what loved ones say ultimately cost Lily’s life.

But Darner says her death does not symbolize the life she lived.

“She would make the whole room bright. She was such a multifaceted person. I never met someone so like emotionally capable to understand who you are and that’s hard to find.”

Darner is remembering Lily as the friend that can still light up a room, even in a time of darkness.

“I could’ve turned the other way, but I chose to show up for her family and show up for her friends and show up for the community because such an ugly thing happened, but it can be turned into something beautiful with her memory and showing that light,” Darner explained.