Northeast Tarrant

Slain TWU student was ‘a big personality in a tiny body’

Jackie Ton and Jacqueline Vandagriff didn’t meet until high school, but they considered themselves twins.

They both went by the name Jackie, and they later adopted cats together.

They shared makeup and hair dye.

And when a good friend of Ton’s died, it was Vandagriff who comforted her, sleeping over each night so Ton wouldn’t have to be alone.

On Wednesday, Ton was one of several close friends who spoke at a sunset vigil in a Frisco park for Vandagriff.

The 24-year-old Texas Woman’s University student was found dead last week in a park near Lake Grapevine.

“She had a big personality in a tiny body,” said one friend.

Most of the speakers’ names could not be learned. Reporters were asked to stay about 50 yards away.

Her mother, Sonja Vandagriff, spoke briefly to thank the crowd for attending.

“I saw all the makeup smeared on the floor, and all the hair dye flung across the bathroom,” Vandagriff’s mother said. “I didn’t know girls’ hair could be so many colors. But I never stopped it. It was an expression of her creativity.”

Ton told the crowd about the Go Fund Me page she set up to help the family pay Vandagriff’s funeral expenses. By the vigil Wednesday, the page had raised nearly $6,000.

“We’re over our goal, because we all came together for this crazy redhead who made us all smile,” Ton said. “She was my best friend. She was my girl.”

The hour-long service didn’t avoid the reality: Vandagriff’s death was gruesome.

“I can’t imagine the terror she was in,” one friend said.

Authorities found her body, burned and dismembered, in a blue kiddie pool in a secluded area near Lake Grapevine.

Charles Bryant, 30, has been arrested.

Bryant remained in Grapevine city jail Wednesday night with his bail set at $1 million. He faces a capital murder charge.

“We’re angry,” one of Vandagriff’s friends told the crowd Wednesday night.

“We have a lot of questions and they probably will never, ever be answered. But justice will be served and she knows that.”