Tabb High School grad killed while on vacation in Caribbean

Posted at 7:35 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 08:44:02-05

York County, Va. --- A  graduate of Tabb High School was killed in a machete attack while on vacation in Grenada.

Jessica Colker, 39, graduated from the high school in 1994, according to the York County school division.

CBS News reports the attack happened on Sunday not far from where Colker was staying her husband. A man with a machete attacked the couple. The husband was able to get away, but Colker was killed.

"I broke down in tears. I was at work this morning when I saw that," said Kristin McManus, a friend from Tabb High. "To know that she was taken away from this world at such an early age in such a horrific manner is beyond words for me to describe."

So far police haven't released a motive for the attack. The violent death is tough to take for McManus. She remembers Colker for her contagious smile. "She was the light of the room a lot of times, a very happy person. I don't remember ever seeing her in a grumpy mood. She was just a happy, happy person."

Colker played in the band at Tabb. Her yearbook says she graduated as a member of the National Honor Society. Over time, friends in the area lost touch with her. Recently, local reporters in Atlanta say she was living in Georgia and working as a physician's assistant at a children's hospital. "I pictured that for her because she was helping and caring for others," said McManus.

A suspect in Grenada has been taken into custody, according to CBS News. That person is cooperating with the investigation.

"I can't imagine what her family is going through because it hurts me and I haven't seen her for 20 years," said McManus.