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Adrian Jones's grandmother finds healing through helping child abuse victims

Posted at 4:33 PM, Aug 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-25 19:49:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The grandmother of a little Kansas City, Kansas boy who was tortured and killed by his parents, is hoping to find healing through helping victims of child abuse.

On Thursday, Judy Conway delivered hundreds of donations to Sunflower House in Shawnee, Kansas.

"This gives me some kind of self-satisfaction that I'm doing some thing for him and for other children," she said. 

In 2015, Conway's grandson Adrian Jones, 7, was killed by his father and stepmother after years of abuse. 

Sunflower House is a children's advocacy center for the prevention of child abuse.

Michelle Herman, president and CEO of the organization, said roughly 500 children visit the center every year.

Sunflower House is partially funded through government grants, but still needs about $800,000 annually to operate. 

"When a child has alleged abuse, our expertise is doing forensic interview to get the who, what, when, where-facts of the investigation," Herman said.

For the children being interviewed, Herman said it can be a traumatic experience. However, it's one that ends in a room filled with teddy bears and homemade quilts.

"They're able to end that stressful experience with something warm and fuzzy," Herman said.

Conway delivered dozens of teddy bears donated by people from all across the country who've come to know her grandson's story.

"It's been monumental," Conway said. "The love for him--there's no boundaries. It just goes all over the world."

Conway also delivered numerous gifts cards and food items for the children,

While the stuffed animals and donations bring comfort to the children, Conway said there's still a lot more that needs to be done to protect the kids of Kansas.

"I'm hoping in January that Adrian's Act will be passed," she said.

Adrian's Act was introduced in May following a 41 Action News investigation that revealed what happened to Adrian.

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Conway also wants Department For Children and Families to be more transparent when it comes to releasing records following a child's death.

"Going for a year and a half without not knowing exactly what happened, it really takes a toll on you," Conway said. "It weighed on my mind every single day. I had dreams about it. I had nightmares about it."

41 Action News made multiple attempts to talk with Phyllis Gilmore, Secretary of DCF, about Adrian's case. The agency denied each request for an interview. 

While Conway hopes bigger changes are to come, she finds comfort in knowing the love for her grandson continues to spread through acts of kindness. 

"I think it would make Adrian really happy to know that his legacy is going to live on," she said.