Family prepares for daughter's funeral, thanks community

Jacksonville police find Savannah Gold's body late Saturday night

By Francesca Amiker - Reporter
Scene photo by Sandy Griffin

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Family members of Savannah Gold, who spent three days searching for their missing daughter before learning that the 21-year-old's body was found and her co-worker was charged with murder, is working on funeral arrangements, possibly for Sunday, her uncle told News4Jax.

Jacksonville police said Gold was killed in the car of a man who police described as a casual boyfriend Wednesday afternoon as she arrived for work at Bonefish Grill in Mandarin. No motive has been released.

Dan and Sheri Gold have not talked publicly since Sunday, when they went to see the man accused of killing their daughter face a judge.

"A parent should never have to bury their child, especially a 21-year-old child who had her entire life ahead of her," said Frank Pastine, Savannah's uncle. "If you knew Savannah, she was positive, creative and she was joy. That's how we described her, because she brought joy to everyone's life."

Pastine said the family is not focused on how Savannah died, but on how Savannah would want them to live.

"We're going through a lot of emotions right now," Pastine said. "We're still in a state of shock, trying to come to terms with the situation. We're trying to be there for each other."

Darlene Farrah, mother of another high-profile young murder victim, said she knows the pain the Gold family is facing and has offered to help them in any way she can. Shelby Farrah was shot and killed four years ago during the robbery of a Metro PCS store.

"They have a rough journey ahead of them," Darlene Farrah said. Her advice: "Keep the faith. You have to be strong. They are there daughter's voice."

She said she knows Gold's family is numb and she hopes to connect with them, to be a listening ear, especially for Savannah's mother.

"I just want her to know that I'm there. I don't care if it's 2 or 4 o'clock in the morning," Farrah said.

In the last 72 hours, Savannahs' uncle says the community has shown great compassion for the family.

"The best thing has been the community. The Mandarin community, the Jacksonville community, the Facebook community, our family and friends -- especially Sheri and Dan Gold's friends," Pastine said. "They are very loyal and would give you the shirt off their backs. Everyone is doing more than we thought, and we are blessed to have all this support."

Pastine said the family is asking the community for one other thing: Don't share the name of the killer, who they call an animal. They say it helps no one.

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