Unsolved homicides bring victims' mothers, families together to hope, pray for justice

Posted at 6:42 AM, Sep 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-30 07:00:28-04

CINCINNATI – Dozens of mothers and families brought their grief to a North Avondale park Saturday. They cried, laughed, cried, sang, cried and held a candle.

All of them remembered the child or loved one taken away from them by violence. Some held posters displaying the faces and names of scores of unsolved homicide victims in Cincinnati.

All of them were looking for justice, hoping someone would come forward with information to get the killers of the streets.

“I can’t even explain what it is as a parent to lose your child,” said Peggy Harris.

Her son, John Harris, was killed 11 years ago in a Northside carjacking. Eleven years later, she still grieves.

“I should be watching him grow old. His kids should be growing up learning to ride bikes from their dad,” she said. “It’s not easy. It’s hard.”

It’s hard to talk about him – how he was so much like her - without feeling the pain.

“Oh, boy, I didn’t want to do this,” she said, choking up and pausing 1-2-3-4-5-6 seconds to collect herself.

“He was my heart,” she said. “The youngest of seven. He and I were so close. I’m a plumber. He even went after my trade and became a  plumber like myself. My one son said we shared our breath and heartbeats."

Mothers never forget, even when it's painful, said Hope Dudley, mother of Daniel Dudley.

“Their loved ones’ light hasn’t burnt out. We stand here representing our children. We light a candle for them. This is a reminder that they’re still the light of the world," Dudley said.

The hope of catching their loved one’s killer is the reason they stand strong years later. Closure? They may never have closure, Harris said.

“I think it’s a relief more than a closure. I’m waiting. I know it’ll happen. The people that killed my son, they didn’t get away. It’ll happen,” Harris said.  

They got a helping hand Friday from Crime Stoppers, which upped the ante for tips leading to the arrest of homicide suspects from $1,000 to $2,500. Tips are confidential. If you have any information that could lead to an arrest, you’re asked to call 513-352-3040.