Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
OGDEN — If only you knew her.
Kassie Searle says she has been fortunate enough to know Jaycee Gray Trivino for more than a decade.
"I started teaching Jaycee when she was a teenager at the dance studio," Searle said. "She was a light to everyone."
They remained good friends through the years. So, Searle was shocked when she heard about what happened.
"It's the kind of situation where I will never forget where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news," she said.
Trivino died after what police say was an accidental shooting in Ogden. The exact circumstances of the case are still being investigated.
Instead of focusing on how her life ended, Searle is remembering how Trivino lived.
"Everybody adored her," she said. "It is because she had a gift for making people feel comfortable and confident in themselves."
That gift helped Trivino become a favorite teacher at Highland Junior High School in Ogden, where she also taught art.
"From the very minute I saw her, she just had people packed around her, so she was a blessing everywhere she went," Alan Mueller said.
Mueller was Trivino's church bishop and is proud that the young girl he knew grew up to be the amazing woman she was.
"She was one that everybody became an instant friend," Mueller said. "She just had that personality that people loved — a personality that was nonjudgmental."
The stage, though, is where Trivino truly found her peace. Especially after her brother Greg drowned trying to save her when she went underwater as a teenager.
Her friends say it seemed like she always danced for him.
"She didn't want to let him down and I think she exceeded his expectations," Searle said.
Trivino was only 27 years old, but that was enough time to make the kind of impact on others Searle hopes to continue.
"I think the only thing to be done is to try and live my life in that way and try and continue the light that she left on the world because it needs to stay," Searle said.
A GoFundMe* account has been set up to help with funeral expenses.
*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.