INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Just as she carried her daughter in the beginning of her life, Cindy Aubry will still be there to carry her daughter, Kensie Aubry, in death.
"This is just her remains, 'cause her soul and her heart and everything is in heaven," Cindy said, patting the bag containing her daughter's ashes.
Cindy made the 12-hour drive from Texas to Kansas City to get Kensie and take her back home.
Kensie's body was found on a Grain Valley property in July.
Cindy met with KSHB 41 News in Independence where U.S. 40 and Interstate 70 intersect. Many people who are homeless live under the bridges and along the grassy area near a bus stop at the edge of the Walmart Supercenter parking lot.
She wanted to see one of the last places her daughter lived before she was killed. Kensie had only been in the metro for a couple years.
"I seen the lady over there sitting on the curb. My daughter I know has done that, I know she has. Seeing them all of them up in there, it made me want to cry because as a mother you just don't want to see any of your children have to go through that," Cindy said.
Kensie was living a rough life and was addicted to drugs. Cindy wonders what she could have done if she'd come sooner, but said Kensie made her own decisions.
"That's one thing, there are some people that are like, 'Well look what she did. Look what she was doing.' You know what, that doesn't matter," Cindy said. "If there's a time in your life that you accept the lord, then he's not going to let you go."
Cindy said she wants everyone to know that Kensie was loved. She had a lot of friends and family members who cared about her.
The bag she carries Kensie's ashes in has a rainbow heart on the front that says "Love is love" in every color of the rainbow. It's significant because Kensie was part of the LGBTQ community.
Cindy said Kensie's heart was so big she'd become friends with anyone — that's the Kensie she knows.
She wanted to share that message with folks in the area.
"Walking over here and talking to the people, I just wanted to let them know, be careful," Cindy said.
This was one of the most bittersweet things Cindy has done, she said, but it was a trip driven by love.
"She'll be spread some places but she'll be at home with me, with my mom," Cindy said.
Cindy will be back in Kansas City next July, when Kensie's accused killers will go to trial.
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.