Names of 300 murder victims added to Crime Stoppers of Houston memorial

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- They spoke at the podium one at a time. A daughter whose father was murdered said, "On January 4, 1990, my world was forever changed."

The stories are all different. Another relative said, "He was 27. I'm here to show my support for Crime Stoppers."

But they share a bond born from pain and grief that only they understand.

Jerrilynn Taplin's father was 81. After 60 years in Houston, her father Lonnie had just moved to Temple, when his five children back home got the call they'll never forget. The marine veteran was beaten to death.

"People want me to stop crying and get over it. Get on with my life. I was broken. I was a prayer warrior. It challenged my faith and everything I knew, because my daddy was a kind man," said Taplin.

Crime Stoppers of Houston, law enforcement and the Harris County District Attorney's Office added 300 names of murder victims this year from our area.

"I thought we needed to be here to get support from other families that's going through what we're going through," said Taplin.

Justice has been served in some cases. In others, it's long overdue. Taplin says an arrest has been made in her father's case, but they are still waiting for the trial.

There were many tears and difficult memories shared at this year's Night of Remembrance as new names were added to the victim's list. But sometimes words of comfort from families who went through it long ago brought much warmth to the entire room.

One mother lost her son decades ago. She told the crowd his name was Johnny.

"I always say speak their name and they'll live forever," that mother said.

This year's event was held at the new Crime Stoppers of Houston, Dave Ward Building for the first time. Twenty-five pavers with victims' names have also been added to the walkway outside the Midtown Houston building.

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