Candlelight vigil to be held in support for Andrea Will

A candlelight vigil will be held in front of the Sigma Kappa sorority chapter house in Greek court at 6 p.m. today.

The event will be for former Eastern student Andrea Will, who was murdered in her freshman year in February 1998. The event is to raise awareness that her attacker was being released from prison after a 12-year sentence at the same time.

The February 4, 1998, edition of The Daily Eastern News reports on the murder in an article called “Freshman found murdered,” which lists what had taken place the night of the murder.

“An Eastern student Tuesday was taken into police custody for his alleged involvement in the strangulation death of freshman Andrea Will.” the article said. Justin Boulay, 20, of St. Charles, was arrested and charged with murder with the intent to injure or kill, according to a police report.”

The article further stated that Boulay called his parents after the murder took place. His parents, who sensed something was seriously wrong, drove to Charleston the same night.

Around 5:05 a.m., Boulay and his parents went to the Charleston police station about the murder. Will was pronounced dead by a Coles County Coroner at 5:18 a.m.

Pamela Faught, who was a good friend of Will’s during their freshman year at Eastern, recalls the incident and how it unfolded.

“Andrea had been seeing Justin Boulay for a couple of years before both of them came to Eastern in ’98. Will broke it off with Boulay during the fall semester.” Faught said. “On the night the murder took place, Boulay’s friend called Will and told her that Boulay had a birthday gift at his apartment, and that was the last time we saw Andrea alive.” said Faught

The event shocked many that were connected with Will because they did not believe anything like this was going to happen. Boulay had shown signs of verbal aggression towards Will but had never physically assaulted her.

Faught was informed of Will’s death the morning after it took place.

“What made it so hard was the fact that we were with her the same night right before she went to Boulay’s house,” Faught said. “The next morning I had gotten up and was getting ready to go to class when I was informed in the hallway that Andrea had been killed. When I heard, I realized that Boulay must have killed her. It was hard for all of us, and really changed a lot of us and how we thought of the world.”

Boulay was charged with first-degree murder and sentenced to 24 years in prison but was allowed parole after 12 years. Boulay will be released today at 6 p.m.

Many who knew Will are unhappy about the release.

“We do not believe that he should be released because he deserves to spend more time in prison for the action he committed,” Faught said. When it happened, it took a lot of time for many people to heal from what had happened and now with him being released, its like the wound is being opened again.”

The event is also being used as a way to raise awareness to abusive relationships and help bring an end to it. There will be 26 other locations across the nation, which will also be holding a candlelight vigil in support of Andrea Will.

Faught is very pleased with the support she and others have been receiving for the event.

“We are so happy with the number of supporters that we have been gaining whether through Facebook or by the people planning to come out to the vigil,” she said.

Cara Fumagalli a senior communications studies major, is part of the Sigma Kappa sorority and is one of the people responsible for scheduling the event.

“The vigil is the main thing that we have planned for Andrea as we want to show our support for Andrea, her family and any other people who were close to Andrea at the time of her death,” said Fumagalli.

Faught would also like to thank the Sigma Kappa sorority house for the support they have shown even though most of the sister’s did not know Andrea on a personal basis.

Steve Puschmann can be reached at 581-7942 or [email protected].