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To a crowd literally spilling out into the hallways at Zion United Church of Christ in Le Sueur, the Rev. Beth Benson tried to address the question that kept coming up throughout Josselyn Bishop’s funeral.

Why would anyone harm someone so kind who clearly touched so many lives?

“We can’t explain it. We can’t change it. We can’t take it back,” she said during the Thursday service. “But we can decide how we respond.”

Bishop, a 19-year-old Minnesota State University student, was stabbed to death on North Victory Drive in Mankato Friday afternoon. Her body was found by construction workers near the road. Hours later, a former boyfriend, Damone Christopher Williams-Tillman, 19, was arrested. He was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder.

In the days following her death, a Facebook page was started in Bishop’s memory, and thousands of comments have been posted offering condolences and stories about Bishop’s life. At her visitation Wednesday evening, 900 people attended. Again Thursday, the church overflowed with family, friends and community members.

“We have no words to say to make sense of what happened,” Benson said, voice trembling.

“... Most times this kind of thing happens way off in the distance. But this time, it’s happened right here in your hearts.”

To read the complete story, see Friday’s print or e-edition.

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