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Victim was like ?a sunny day'

By Ed Brock

Marissa Vaziri loved ballet, sun-worshipping on spring break and ballet.

"We outsold everyone in Girl Scout cookie sales every year," Tanya Vaziri wrote about her sister. "She was the definition of a bright, sunny day."

Those were some of the words from Vaziri's family that the Rev. Justin Kollmeyer of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Fayettevile that on Friday afternoon was filled with family and friends who came to lay the 27-year-old to rest.

"She was so loved by her sisters and they totally looked up to her," Kollmeyer said.

Vaziri was found dead in her apartment in Riverdale last Sunday by a group of people who had come there at the behest of Charles Warren Reynolds, Vaziri's live-in boyfriend. Reynolds, who is now charged with murder in connection with Vaziri's death by strangulation, wanted an old friend and the pastor of the Riverdale Church of God to pray for him.

While Reynolds, 38, remained in Clayton County jail awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday, Vaziri's parents, former professional wrestler Hossein Khosrow "The Iron Sheik" Vaziri and his wife Carolyn, along with their two other daughters said good-bye. In their letters they wrote about Vaziri's favorite games she played as a child and a love of Fayette County Youth Football Association's "Blue Devils" cheerleaders.

"She was a sweet girl, God she was sweet," said Melissa Davis who coached Vaziri as a Blue Devils cheerleader in the late 1980s. "She was very quite. She came from good upbringing."

Reynolds told police that Vaziri and he had been drinking and taking pills in their apartment at Alexander Falls the night of her death. Apparently there was a physical confrontation between them, Clayton County police spokesman Capt. Jeff Turner said.

An autopsy showed that Vaziri died from strangulation and in spontaneous statements to police Reynolds blamed himself and said, "She wouldn't calm down – I didn't know what else to do."

Friends of Vaziri like Jessica Blankenship said they never trusted Reynolds, who has a prior conviction for assault. Blankenship said previously that Vaziri had told her in an e-mail that she wanted Reynolds to leave the apartment but she felt sorry for him because he had nowhere else to go.

On Friday Blankenship and other friends reached out to gently touch Vaziri's coffin as it was taken out of the church after the service.

"We live in an ugly, sinful world," Kollmeyer said. "And that evil raised its ugly head once again last Saturday night."