Friend of Frankfort fire victim fondly reflects on their bond

Despite Thursday's fire suspect arrest, it's still very hard to process.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – There’s been an outpouring of support for the two fire victims, 20-year-old Quiana Danyel Miller-Walker and 21-year-old Zephany Rushin.

“It didn’t matter if it was 1 o’ clock in the morning or the middle of the day, if you needed Zeph, Zeph was going to be there for you,” Christine Shanahan said. That’s how she fondly remember her friend, Rushin.

Shanahan is from New Jersey, and their friendship blossomed after virtually meeting in an LGBTQ Twitter group about five years ago.

“A lot of people don’t realize how important relationships over the internet can be because they think you don’t know that person,” Shanahan said.

However, she said she knew Rushin better than many people in her everyday life, and the fact that she knew that early on in the friendship spoke volumes.

“You know that you want someone in your life even when you haven’t met them in person is just beyond important,” Shanahan said.

She said Rushin would send videos to make the distance seem closer.

“They would send videos of them hugging the air to pretend that they were sending me a virtual hug when they missed me,” Shanahan said. “I look at them now all the time.”

The pair finally met in person at a Pride festival in Atlanta about two years ago.

“I remember looking at Zeph from like ten feet away and realizing it was Zeph and like running and jumping and it like the most fantastic feeling and made it all those years of waiting worth it for sure,” Shanahan recalled.

She said she didn’t really know the other fire victim, Miller-Walker, well, but she said the couple loved each other beyond words.

“Their love was beautiful,” Shanahan said. “It’s the kind of love people wish for – fairytale love.”

Despite Thursday’s fire suspect arrest, Shanahan said it’s still hard to deal with the sudden, tragic deaths.

“It didn’t need to happen. It’s a senseless crime.”

And, being so far away, it’s also hard to process, especially after watching the suspect who did TV interviews at the scene the day of the fire.

“I’m so far away, so I’m just constantly refreshing the page trying to get new information,” Shanahan said.

She said she hopes people remember Rushin’s kindness and their art that they worked hard on.

“It was the kind of art that you looked at it and it had a deeper meaning,” Shanahan said. “It spoke to you.”

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