Murder in St. Rose: Community mourns the death of Hilda Warren


August 22, 2007 at 3:18 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A mother, grandmother, niece, aunt, and sister, loved by all -- The murder of Hilda Mae Zeringue Warren, 70, Monday, August 13. sent waves of shock throughout the quiet, close knit St. Rose community. Hilda was laid to rest on Monday, August 20.
Photo by Anorna Johnson
A mother, grandmother, niece, aunt, and sister, loved by all -- The murder of Hilda Mae Zeringue Warren, 70, Monday, August 13. sent waves of shock throughout the quiet, close knit St. Rose community. Hilda was laid to rest on Monday, August 20.
St. Rose residents gathered by the hundreds on Monday, Aug. 20, to attend funeral services for 70-year-old Hilda Mae Zeringue Warren.

Warren was found with a gun shot wound in the back of the head in her home Monday, Aug. 13. The tight-knit community is calling it a senseless murder.

Dwayne Harris, Glenda Williams, and Lisa M. Price, organized a candlelight vigil Saturday, Aug.18, giving residents an opportunity to remember Warren and share their grief.

“When we heard about Hilda Mae being shot, the whole community was in turmoil,” Harris told the Herald-Guide.

“We had to do something to relieve everyone’s emotional pain,” Harris said.

“The purpose of the vigil was for the family members and our neighbors and friends, to heal together and continue to pray together until whoever did this comes forward,” he said.

The suffering the family is experiencing won’t leave their hearts until the murder is solved. Darlene Smith, Warren’s daughter, said St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office has been working vigorously to find answers.

“My heart aches and I feel layers of pain inside when I think about the way my mother died - it’s just senseless,” she said.

“To know my mother is dead, not by natural causes but at the hands of someone else is difficult for the entire family,” she continued.

“She was a wonderful mother, grandmother, niece, aunt, and sister.”

Smith said St. Charles Parish investigators have assured the family that they will keep searching until the murder is solved.

Harris and other residents want the comfort and security back that they had in St. Rose before this tragedy occurred.

“Until this crime is solved none of us will feel safe,” Glenda Williams said.

“We just want answers,” she continued.

Over 300 residents began the march Saturday at Mount Zion Baptist Church on Second Street and ended near Fifth African Baptist on Fourth street at Warren’s home where she lived.

“We walked about a mile and a half,” Harris said.

“A resident had some concerns about us having the candlelight ceremony,” Harris said.

“But if God gives you something to do, do it, don’t be discouraged, despite any negativity that comes up,” Harris said.

“We got the okay on Thursday, organized the march on Friday, and we were ready on Saturday.”

“We want closure for everyone in this community,” Harris told the Herald-Guide.

“Our hearts go out to the family, we’ll miss Hilda Mae,” he continued.

“None of us can believe she’s gone,” he said.

“She was a good person, who would help anyone and everyone who needed it,” he continued.

Momma Tee, Nanny Tee, Sister Warren, as she’s affectionately called by neighbors and family, was a retired custodial worker for the St. Charles Parish School System.

“She loved to cook,” Harris said.

“She’d have food on her stove, for anybody to come and get a hot meal if they were hungry,” he continued.

“If you needed money, she’d give it to you,”

“Baby, you don’t have enough to pay for that, I got something for you, and she’d reach in her pocket and give you $10, or whatever you needed,”

The community doesn’t know if it was a random act of violence, but all agree “Hilda Mae’s” death is senseless.

Danielle Smith, Warren’s granddaughter, wrote in her funeral program, “Ma, you were involved in any and everything I did. When I went to dance school, you would taxi me to and from New Orleans, you were always the first in the building and the most proud grandmother at the recitals. When I played the trombone, you would come to all of my (pitiful) performances and make me feel as if they were the best you had ever seen, and you never let me carry that heavy instrument on my own. That’s how you were, you did anything and everything to make life easier for everyone.”

Shonna Riggs can be reached at 758-2795 or shonnar@heraldguide.com.




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