HATTIESBURG, MS - The Southern Miss Dixie Darling family is mourning the loss of one of their own today.
Kristina Quintini was a Dixie Darling co-captain in 2010 and was shot over the weekend in Bay St. Louis. Her 29-year-old boyfriend, Demetriuis Mueller, was also killed, and the couple's 6-month -old daughter, Mia, remains in the hospital under observation.
Dixie Darling Dance Coach Tracy Smith said she could not believe her former student was gone when she heard the news.
"I really felt my heart drop because I just felt a connection with them, it's just unbelievable I can't put into words how devastating this is," Smith said.
Quintini was part of the dance team from 2008-2010, and Smith said she knew she was special from the very beginning.
"She just gave it her all and was performing the heck out of whatever she was doing even when we were in practice," Smith said.
Her family said Quintini was not only a great dancer, but a great mother to her daughter, Mia. Her cousin, Natasha King, lives in Hattiesburg and considered Quintini as a sister.
"This is an extremely difficult time right now for me, my family, and my homegrown community," King said. "Kristina was everything to me and it's hard for me to accept this. I love her and life will forever live on through Mia."
Quintini was was the godmother to King and her husband Mario's child, and they shared a close relationship. Mario King said this loss has been very difficult for their family.
"The reality sets in when you visually see that person at the funeral or wake and that's a day we are just not looking forward to," Mario King said.
While family and friends continue to mourn this loss, Smith said she wants to remember Kristina as the fun Dixie Darling that everyone loved.
"I'd just say you were one of a million, you stood out, we enjoyed you," Smith said. "Our team enjoyed you and I hope you know how much you were loved."
The Funeral will be held on Aug. 6 at Our Lady of the Gulf Church in Bay St. Louis. There will be a two hour visitation and a church service following visitation. We will put an update once the family sets a time for the funeral.
If you want to donate to the family for the funeral or the baby, you can go to the gofundmepage or donate to 425 7th street Bay St. Louis 39520.
In Hattiesburg, you can donate to 6371 U.S Highway 98 W Suite 10, Hattiesburg, MS, 39402.