The Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons on Thursday held a candlelight vigil to remember victims of domestic violence, and a benefit on Sunday will help cover the funeral expenses of two of those victims.

Sheltering the flames of their candles with cupped hands against the wind on Thursday afternoon, several people paused next to the fountain on Newberry Street as part of an annual candlelight vigil to mark criminal domestic violence awareness, which is observed during the month of October.

The vigil typically follows a scavenger hunt, during which participants go to businesses downtown and, at each stop, receive a clue or fact concerning domestic violence in South Carolina. The scavenger hunt was called off due to lack of participation and the weather.

At the vigil were a picture of former Aiken resident Ashley Kaney, 26, and her 8-year-old daughter, Riley Burdick.

Kaney and Burdick were from Aiken but moved to Summerville about a year ago. They were found murdered in their home earlier this month, the result of what investigators determined was “an isolated act of domestic violence.”

The funerals for the mother and daughter were held two weeks ago.

“Aiken United for Ashley and Riley: A Domestic Violence Awareness Benefit,” will be held Sunday in honor of Kaney and Burdick.

The event will be from 4 to 8 p.m. at The Red Pepper restaurant on Silver Bluff Road, where Kaney worked at one point. There will be live music, food and drinks and a silent auction.

Admission will be $30 for individuals and $50 for couples. Admission sales and donations through the Aiken Unite for Ashley and Riley website will go toward funeral expenses for Kaney and Burdick.

For more information, call Sarah Tuccitto, volunteer and events coordinator for the Cumbee Center at 803-649-0480, or or visit

Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard.

He has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.