KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Corey's Network, community leaders and families who lost loved ones to murder held their ninth annual vigil Sunday to honor victims in 680 area unsolved homicide cases.
Michelle Norris, who lost her son Corey in 2013 , is among the leaders who've been part of every vigil.
"These are individuals that still have no answers,” said Norris, Founder of Corey’s Network,
That means 680 families suffering, like Rhonda Herrings, whose son Brandon was murdered in 2016
“He was a big teddy bear, that’s why they named him Mac Bear," Herrings said. "He was tough and all that good stuff, but he was a good young man with a loving heart."
Someone killed Brandon just before the birth of his son.
Now Herring and her family teach their grandson about his father.
“We are teaching him, telling him about his dad," Herring said. “He knows what his dad looks like via picture but on physical life, that’s sad.”
It was emotional for Herring to see her grandson search for his father's memorial among others placed in the grass along South Crackerneck Rd. in Independence.
"This baby recognizes his dad on a poster board, nonsense,” Herring said.
Michelle Norris says the loss of a child wrecks a person.
“They truly take a relationship that you swore til death do you part, because I did not swear to be Corey’s mom until he died,” Norris said. "I swore I will be his mom until I died.”
The pain Michelle felt after Corey’s death led her to create Corey’s Network in an effort to help other families who are looking for justice for their loved ones.
“During that process we continued to have vigils for his justice, but at the same time we started having other families that were joining us in their need and their quest for justice,” Norris said.
Families from all walks of life from across the Kansas City area who are experiencing the same pain will continue to hold their loved ones pictures high, keeping their memories, names and stories alive.
“That 'don’t' snitch' don’t work because if you were in my shoes you would want someone to say something, believe me you would," Herring said. "You wouldn’t want to feel like this. That is a journey to walk down, you wouldn’t want to.”