The Duncan Banner
Alyssa Dawn Wiles had just finished 8th grade at Duncan Middle School, and was ready for a summer of swimming and just hanging out with her friends.
On Monday, that plan was interrupted and all her choices were taken from her.
Alyssa, 14, the daughter of Brad and Angela Wiles, died in her home and two teenage boys were arrested Tuesday. They appeared in court Wednesday.
Many people are struggling to understand why this has happened in their own community. Alyssa’s death comes on the heels of the anniversary of the death of Braylee Rae Henry, 16, who was murdered June 6, 2012, in Velma.
For Alyssa’s friends and family though, today, they are looking for happier ways to remember and honor her. That includes making green bows and tying them on poles and other places throughout Duncan. Alyssa’s favorite color was lime green.
Alyssa had been a dance student at Heartbeat Dance Studio, under Stephanie Gregston’s direction, for five years. Gregston said Wednesday that Alyssa was a happy young girl who loved dancing and always looked forward to the annual Daddy/Daughter dance. Each year she practiced hard for the dance. She also loved going to Gregston’s Nursing Home in Marlow and performing in the Christmas program for the residents in the Stepping Stones wing, where her mother works. She didn’t mind that she was the oldest dancer in the Christmas performance, and loved being around the 6-year-old dancers.
Alyssa loved baking cupcakes for her father to take to work, where he shared them with his coworkers at the Duncan waterplant.
Concerts and getting her nails done were a regular event for Alyssa and her mom, and best friends Brandy Pollock and Sally. Brandy and Angela, moms of the two girls, made it a point to have plenty of “girl moments” with them. At Christmas, they gave the Alyssa and Sally tickets for a Maroon 5 concert and during spring break, the four of them went and spent three days just hanging out, shopping and bonding.
“We had the best time,” Brandy said. “Alyssa was the light of Angela’s life. She was her baby, her only girl. She definitely pulled out all the stops for her. She wanted her to be happy and well accepted.”
Brandy said when her youngest daughter, Abby, 4, heard the news of Alyssa’s death, she asked if she could go hug her.
“Alyssa was always smiling. She was always hugging. That was her greeting and she’d knock you down with a hug. She loved kids and was not above helping the little girls dance,” Brandy said.
Most recently, Alyssa bubbled enthusiastically about going to Frontier City with her mom and close friends, to see Neon Trees in concert — even experiencing an amusement ride with them, posting the excited moment and photograph on her Facebook.
Now her friends and family are searching for answers and planning her candlelight memorial and funeral.