Celebrating a mother’s life: Vigil held for Yvette Leonard of Patchogue


Dozens of relatives, friends and neighbors of the Patchogue mother who was missing for over two weeks and is believed to have been found dead last week gathered for a community vigil this week to honor the woman’s life.

Yvette Leonard’s son Malyk led the ceremony, held Monday evening in front of his mom’s home on Terry Street in Patchogue. For two weeks, Malyk Leonard searched in vain for his 56-year-old mother, a 10-year Patchogue resident who went missing on June 13.

The search ended last week when Suffolk Police arrested 72-year-old Patchogue resident Garry Cowell in connection to human remains discovered Thursday in East Patchogue. Prosecutors said he admitted to “butchering” the woman’s body with an ax “when she passed away.”

Authorities have not confirmed that the remains are those of Yvette Leonard, only saying in court that the victim had been missing since the same date that Leonard disappeared. Malyk Leonard has acknowledged that he believes the remains are that of his mother.

Cowell, who has pleaded not guilty to tampering with evidence and concealment of a human corpse, is expected back in Suffolk County Court today.

Christine Heeren with Artist Lake Media took photos at the event. Below are some of her pictures.

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