AUGUSTA — Bonnie Royer and Eric Williams both were known for their kind hearts and willingness to help anyone, friends and family who gathered in their memory said Friday night, one week after the couple was killed on Christmas morning.

More than 100 people joined a candlelight vigil in memory of Royer and Williams outside their home.

“Eric was a very good friend, and Bonnie was the same way. They’d help anybody,” said David Jordan, of Augusta, who grew up down the street from Williams. “Bonnie baby-sat my daughter a bunch, and she always had a blast. They were loved.”

The young couple, police said, died from gunshot wounds. Their bodies were found early Christmas morning in Williams’ SUV off Sanford Road in Manchester, which is near the Easy Street home where the couple lived. A Rochester, New York, man has been charged in their murders.

Royer, 26, who went to Cony High School, is survived by her 6-year-old daughter, McKenzie.

Jordan said Royer was a “fantastic” mother.

Jeff Williams, Eric’s father, said the show of support offered by friends and family Friday was moving.

“I just want to thank everyone for the support,” he said.

He echoed others’ comments that his son would do anything for others.

“He was a big-hearted guy,” Jeff Williams said. “If a buddy needed help, he’d drop everything and help.”

Williams, 35, was a graduate of Cony High School and Kennebec Valley Community College, where he studied electrical line work. He had been a manager for Kellermeyer Building Services until earlier this year. He was a member of Le Club Calumet, in Augusta.

Williams’ obituary notes he had a passion for the outdoors, including hunting, fishing and snowmobiling.

A small motorboat and canoe were stored behind the garage of the white, single-story, well-kept home where the couple lived together. The home is owned by Williams’ parents, Jeff and Susan Williams, according to city records.

Eric Williams also had a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which is how Ferrante Grantham first got to know him, through their shared loved of riding their Harleys. He said the two put in about 10,000 miles of riding together, between March and May.

“We were very close,” Grantham said. “Eric had a big heart, the most beautiful smile you’ll ever see, and the type of personality that would draw you in. He would literally give you the shirt off his back.”

Grantham read a poem he wrote in tribute to the couple, “Eternal Departed,” at the vigil.

He said he was moved to pay tribute to the couple the moment he heard the tragic news of their deaths.

Dave Maddox said Williams was “a lovable kid who put himself out there. He had a lot of friends.”

Several dozen vigil participants first gathered on Sanford Road, the same road where the couple were found dead, then walked together, holding candles, to the Easy Street home where the couple lived.

Many exchanged hugs and offered condolences to family members of the pair.

The man accused of killing the two Augusta residents made his first court appearance Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center. David W. Marble Jr., 29, has been charged with two counts of murder related to the shooting deaths of Williams and Royer, who were found dead by police responding to a 911 call one of them had made at 3:30 a.m. Dec. 25.

Williams and Royer were boyfriend and girlfriend, said Royer’s father, Paul Mansir Jr., of Whitefield.

Vicky Beloin, Mansir’s girlfriend, set up a gofundme site to raise money for Royer’s funeral expenses. By Friday evening it had raised $1,975 toward a goal of $5,000.

Beloin notes on the fundraising site that Royer was “full of life, and had such a kind, big heart. She loved her family very much.”

Mansir said the last thing he said to his daughter, Royer, was “I love you” when they spoke about holiday plans Dec. 21.

Beloin said the family was blindsided by the tragic news on Christmas Day, when they learned Royer was gone.

Mansir said earlier in the week that Royer’s daughter, McKenzie, was living with her father in Cumberland County.

A longtime neighbor of Eric Williams said the relationship between Williams and Royer was relatively new.

Williams’ funeral is set for Saturday.

Marble was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Augusta police after they stopped a motor vehicle in which he was a passenger near Memorial Circle in Augusta.

Police said Tuesday the shootings were drug-related but offered no further explanation of the circumstances of the deaths. Documents indicating why Marble was charged remain under wraps.

About a dozen relatives and friends of the victims sat in the courtroom Wednesday to watch the five-minute hearing.

Marble was not asked to enter a plea to the charges and spoke only to tell the judge that he understood his rights.

The prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Marchese, told reporters after the hearing that Marble knew the victims, but she declined to offer any additional details.

Marble was recently living in an apartment at 28 Sewall St., in Augusta. He is being held without bail at the Kennebec County jail.

Marble has been behind bars before. He was arrested in June 2010 in Rochester and charged with beating and robbing a man in that city. According to records from New York state, he was sentenced to prison on a conviction for robbery, third degree, and was released on probation in May 2011.

Marble was involved in a July 18 traffic accident in Rochester in which he is accused of hitting a 50-year-old man who was crossing the street, according to an amended Oct. 6 accident report filed with the New York State Bureau of Motor Vehicles. On that document, Marble’s driving status is listed as “unlicensed,” and it says he left the scene of the accident.

Investigator Francis Camp, with the Rochester Police Department, said Marble faces a felony charge of assault in the second degree, an extraditable offense, in connection with the accident, and that police have been looking to arrest him since Oct. 30.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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