TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -

A candlelight vigil served as a tribute to Erin Corwin and the mark she left in her short time in Twentynine Palms.

Friends, family and strangers touched by her story offered prayers, lit candles and tied purple ribbons, Erin's favorite color, in her memory.

"Tonight is about celebrating Erin and celebrating Jon's love for Erin," said Michelle Doute, Erin Corwin's close friend and neighbor at the Marine base.

"It's a way to show we care about her and we miss her, and our way of saying goodbye since she'll be going home to Tennessee," said Aisling Malakie, another of Erin's friends and neighbors.

"I didn't know Erin but my heart went out to her," said Emily Rich, who lives in Joshua Tree.  "I'm heartbroken for the people who knew her."

The gathering place for the vigil was Luckie Park, the home base for her search effort, and a place that friends say would have reminded Erin of her home in Tennessee.

"She loved being outside and that's part of the reason we're here in the grass, because she hated the sand and she loved the grass," Doute said.

Those close to Erin want people who followed her story to now focus on her life, rather than speculations and negativity.

"She's a person first: a daughter, a wife, a friend and so much more to so many people. And that's what she needs to be remembered as," Doute said.

"She was a good girl, she was a good friend and I wish people would have a little more compassion," Malakie said.

For her husband, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Corwin, tonight was one step closer to getting closure.

He didn't want to speak on camera, but shared with News Channel 3 his most cherished memory of Erin:

He said he'll never forget their high school prom; the first night he saw her all dressed up.  And even though they had known each other since middle school, he remembers there was just something about the way she looked that night.

He said he believes she's now in a better place.

"They loved each other and you looked at them and knew they loved each other," Doute said.

Cpl. Corwin said a funeral service will be held for Erin in Tennessee in September.