MERIDEN — As police continue to search for missing mother Perrie Mason, community members are organizing a candlelight vigil to show support for Mason’s family and raise awareness about domestic violence.
The vigil is being organized by Ashley Ramos and Alyssa Lahaye, two city residents who don’t know Mason personally but received permission from her family to organize the event as a show of support. The vigil will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday outside Lavish Lashes, the eyelash salon Mason owns at 97 E. Main St. Attendees are asked to wear purple to raise awareness for domestic violence.
Ramos said the news of the disappearance “hit home” for her and Lahaye because both are domestic violence survivors. After hearing about Mason’s disappearance, Ramos said she initially wanted to help by searching. After being told that she might hinder law enforcement’s investigation, she decided to organize the vigil instead.
“Instead of searching, I said let’s come together as a community and offer love and support,” Ramos said. Lahaye said they got a lot of positive feedback from the community on Facebook, adding that a post announcing the vigil had been shared almost 200 times as of Thursday afternoon.
A prosecutor said Mason’s ex-boyfriend — 38-year-old city native Jason Watson — is considered the prime suspect in her disappearance. Watson faces domestic violence charges for reportedly assaulting Mason after the couple broke up earlier this month, according to his arrest warrant. On Wednesday, authorities found human remains outside a textile recycling business in Waterbury where Watson worked. Meriden police Lt. John Mennone said in a statement that identification of the remains could take weeks.
“I’m hoping for a positive outcome,” Ramos said. “It struck a chord with me because I’m a mom, for one, and I’m a domestic violence survivor myself and you just don't fathom something like this happening in your hometown.”
Mason’s father, DeVictor King Mason, said several people from Meriden have reached out to him on Facebook to show support in recent days. DeVictor Mason, who is currently in Cambodia and has lived throughout Asia since 2010, said he has gotten information about the case from news reports online.
“No parent wants to attend the funeral of their child,” DeVictor Mason said in a phone interview from Cambodia Thursday. “This was something that was not supposed to happen, and I was not prepared for it.”
DeVictor Mason said out of all his children, he was closest with Perrie. Perrie Mason was originally supposed to visit her father in Asia this month, but canceled because she was too busy, her father said. She has two younger siblings, a sister Vao and brother Albert.
DeVictor Mason described his daughter as a “sweet person” who “had no vices.” She was born and raised in Hawaii and lived most of her life there before moving to Meriden about a year and a half ago. DeVictor Mason said his daughter moved to Meriden to be with Watson, but he couldn’t say how the couple initially met, adding that Perrie Mason didn’t have any family in the Meriden area.
Perrie Mason moved to Meriden with her 11- and 12-year-old boys. Their biological father, an ex-boyfriend, is incarcerated in Hawaii, DeVictor Mason said. There were allegations of abuse in that relationship as well, he said.
DeVictor Mason said he wasn’t aware of any alleged abuse in his daughter’s relationship with Watson, adding he would have told her to “escape.”
In addition to owning her own eyelash business, Mason began work as a court reporter for the Judicial Branch after moving to Meriden. She had worked a similar job in Hawaii for eight years, her father said. DeVictor Mason always wanted his daughter to have a law career and even named her after the 1950s legal drama “Perry Mason.”
According to Lavish Lashes’ website, Perrie Mason had been “perfecting her craft” as an eyelash technician since 2014, and decided to move to Connecticut from Hawaii in 2018 “to follow my heart.”
Anyone with information about Mason’s disappearance is asked to contact Meriden police at 203-630-6219.