GRANDVIEW, Mo. — Families of homicide victims in the Kansas City metropolitan area gathered in Grandview for a vigil Saturday morning.
Hundreds of flyers with information about loved ones’ murders were passed out to drivers in hopes of finding answers.
“People do forget, you know. People move on with their lives, but I will never forget,” said Amapola Garcia, mother of Carlos Garcia. “It’s my son, and I will always speak up for my son until his murder is solved.”
Carlos was only 16 years old when he was killed outside his grandparent’s home in 2021. He died in the arms of his mother who continues to fight for his case today.
“He was a big teddy bear, he loved to eat, he was a good student and he knew a lot about cars," she said. "He was going to build our future cars … [but he is] not able to now."
Bringing light to unsolved homicide cases since 2014, Corey’s Network, Inc. works to ensure families' stories are not forgotten over time.
“They just feel like all their power has been taken away from them. So what we strive to do is help people get re-empowered and get that control back in their life where they feel like, 'I can be a voice for my son, I can be a voice for my daughter,'” said Corey's Network co-founder Michelle Norris.
Foundation leaders have identified 680 unsolved cases, and counting, in the metro alone. Until every case is closed, the organization will pay for funerals, guide families through the court system and offer counseling for support.
“The family, the friends, we’ll never be the same, we can’t go on,” said Dana Godfrey, mother of Christian Olivarez.
Olivarez was 20 years old at the time of his death.
“This is permanent. When you make a split decision and you take somebody’s life, it’s permanent," Godfrey said.
Families at Saturday's event encourage anyone with information to report it. They also say another way to help is to call elected officials and ask that unsolved murder cases be reopened and expedited.
For jurisdictions that utilize the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers Tips Hotline, anonymous tips can be made by calling 816-474-TIPS (8477), submitting the tip online or through the free mobile app at P3Tips.com.
Annual homicide details and data for the Kansas City area are available through the KSHB 41 News Homicide Tracker, which was launched in 2015. Read the KSHB 41 News Mug Shot Policy.