Parents of murdered children raise awareness

Parents of murdered children raise awareness

Sunday, parents of murdered children started spreading a week-long message of hope as part of National Crime Victims' Rights week.
Sunday, parents of murdered children started spreading a week-long message of hope as part of National Crime Victims' Rights week.

Sunday afternoon at the Clinton Presidential Center, FOX16 spoke with two mothers trying to keep the memories of their murdered teenagers alive. Both mothers are part of the group Parents of Murdered Children. It becomes a second family for those trying to heal from the unexpected loss of a loved one.

"We get to share something that we have in common, and it's not something we like. We don't want to be here, but we get to come down here and it's respect for our loved ones," says Victoria Bradshaw.

Bradshaw lost her son, Jeremiah, 18, three years ago when a man playing with a gun shot him in a Morrilton parking lot.

"I'm here for him. I don't want to be here for that reason, but because he can't tell me, I didn't get to see him before he died, so this is like bringing me closer to him in a way," she says.

James Acton, the man who killed Bradshaw's son, is now serving a five year prison sentence for manslaughter.

"It's not enough. It will never be enough for taking Jeremiah," says Victoria Bradshaw.

This September, the man once convicted of killing Melinda Crowder's daughter, Casey, in 2006 is scheduled for re-trial. The Arkansas Supreme Court reversed Kenneth Osburn's conviction, saying investigators coerced his confession.

"It will bring it all back up. For her friends, for her brothers. You know, I worry about me a little bit, but the main people I worry about are her brothers and her friends. Especially the ones that may have to testify," says Melinda Crowder.

Bradshaw is also still involved in the legal process. She goes to every parole hearing to try to prevent Acton from getting out of prison.

"Every day as we wake up, every day as we go to bed, there is so much of their lives that we miss. From their smile, from the things that they would be doing, from the things they did," says Bradshaw.

National Crime Victims' Rights week continues Monday with a crime victims' services restoration ceremony at the Center for Healing Hearts and Spirits in Little Rock. The event is from 11 a.m. til 1 p.m.
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