Family remembers Gilgo victim Megan Waterman

A photograph of Megan Waterman on display

A photograph of Megan Waterman on display during the celebration of Waterman's life at Happy Wheels in Portland, Maine. (Jan. 29, 2011) (Credit: Shawn Patrick Ouellette)

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PORTLAND, Maine - On the night before saying their final goodbyes, more than 200 friends, relatives and neighbors gathered to commemorate

Megan Waterman's life at a Portland-area roller skate rink Saturday night.

It was a bittersweet event, but as Waterman's grandmother, Muriel Benner said, "Tonight is about fun."

Waterman, 22, went missing June 6 in Hauppauge. Her body, and those of three other women, were found along a barrier beach in December. All four victims were women who advertised as escorts on Craigslist or other websites.

Before family knew Waterman was among the victims, they planned this night to celebrate her birthday.

Instead, it became a celebration of a too-short life.

"Nobody can ever hurt her again," Waterman's mother, Lorraine Ela said.

Nearby, Waterman's daughter Liliana, 4, took to the skate rink floor, dressed in a hot pink top and matching skirt with blue tights.

Around her, the rink was full of young and old, experienced and not.

"This is Megan's favorite spot," Ela said. "She loved coming here. When it was open, she lived here."

Services for Waterman are scheduled for today.

Distant cousin Natashia Dyment, 16, from Freeport, Maine, wore a T-shirt she designed herself. It was white with a picture of Waterman in a purple design. Below the photo, a simple "RIP".

"I think she'd like it," Dyment said. "She loved purple and pink."

Dyment recalled that as youngsters, the two played dress-up and sang karaoke.

She said she was in a grocery store parking lot when she heard the news about her cousin.

"All I could do was cry," Dyment said.

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