Fairhope, AL (WKRG)
Friends at Pinzone’s Italian Downtown are remembering the life of 17-year-old Lauren Wright. She was a beloved employee at the Fairhope restaurant. Friends nicknamed her “flour hands.” As a joke, she would leave flour handprints on co-workers. Today some coworkers are wearing white paper handprints on their backs with the words “for our Lauren” scribbled in pen in the center.
“She was always happy, even when she was sad she was happy, she came in with a smile on her face and wanted to make everyone else smile,” said Kitchen Manager Steven Thompson. Coworkers say this is like losing a member of their own families.
“Everything she touched turned to gold. There was nothing that baby couldn’t do,” said restaurant owner Shelby Nelson. “She was the most beautiful human being you could have ever met and she loved everybody all the time.” One refrain I kept hearing from coworkers is that many expected her to waltz through the door with her smile and bright attitude.
“Not ever getting to see her again, getting to hear her laugh when I walked into the kitchen, getting to talk to her about who she was going to be and what she was going to do and support her through that because that’s what me and my husband wanted to do,” said Nelson. She left her mark emotionally and physically.
Wright was killed while visiting friends in the Demopolis area. The according to a news release from Demopolis Police Department 19-year-old Dalton Martin Jowers has been charged with murder. The news release said DPD will not release the name of the victim because she is a minor. Family and friends say Lauren Wright was the victim. The news release offers scant few details about what happened early Saturday morning. We’ve reached out to Demopolis Police for more information and were told to call back Monday.
The incident has sent shockwaves through this small Fairhope restaurant. The owner says the closed for half a day Saturday due to the devastating news. A fundraiser is planned Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to close with live music and specials throughout the day at Pizone’s. Her grandmother said she was bowled over that Pinzone’s would shut down in honor of her little granddaughter.
“I couldn’t believe a business would close down, not taking any money for my baby Lauren,” said Sherry Marter. Family and friends shared Lauren Wright’s story because they want her to be remembered beyond this horrible tragedy. They say she was the glue that held Pinzone’s together. They said she wanted to go to culinary school following high school and had a passion for making her own artwork. Friends say Wright had a unique and bright outlook on life and left a mark on everyone she came in contact with.
News 5’s Chad Petri is talking to friends and family of Wright. He will have more about this story on News 5 at 5 and 10 p.m.