Balloons released in honor of 27-year-old woman killed in boating accident

BOSTON — Family and friends of 27-year-old Jeanica Julce released balloons into the sky Thursday night in her honor.

Emotions ran high outside the Unknown Hype Dance Studio in Mattapan where she touched so many lives. The Somerville native spent a lot of time working on her hip-hop dance moves there and often shared dreams of one day opening her own studio.

Loved ones and her dance family have been in disbelief since Saturday. Julce’s body was recovered in the water near Castle Island nearly seven hours after the boat she was on crashed into a day-marker buoy.

The seven others on board were rescued and survived following the crash, which happened at 3 a.m.

“When it comes to her not being here next to me, there’s no words that can describe that because it was not planned,” said Tyrone Perry, who met Julce at the Unknown Hype Dance Studio in 2019.

>>>PREVIOUS: Family, friends mourn Somerville woman who died after boat crash in Boston Harbor

Julce was in her last year at UMass Boston studying finance. She leaves behind family members across the Boston area, across the country and as far away as Haiti and Canada.

Relatives told Boston 25 News that Julce was a passenger on her former employer’s boat when she died.

“She loved everything about boats,” said friend Leon Shaw. “I’m really going to miss my best friend.”

The boat crash is under investigation by the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and Boston Police’s Homicide Unit. No charges have been filed at this time.

“When I found out, I had questions, and she’s not even my daughter,” said Tonya Nichols, whose daughter danced with Julce. “Hopefully soon we’ll get some kind of answers. We need answers.”

Julce’s family plans to hold their own vigil to honor her this Sunday on Castle Island. Loved ones said they probably wouldn’t be holding a formal service for another week or so to give relatives enough time to travel to Boston.