Many have found support through a group called Parents of Murdered Children. Houston has one of the largest and most active chapters in the nation.
Their strength is stunning, and their stories are just as devastating. The group is open to anyone who has experienced the murder of a loved one. Participants get a chance to open up in a room where people know exactly what they're dealing with.
Marnita Hinton recounted the day she lost her son. "That was Nov. 14, 2020. That was the worst day of my life," she said.
Someone shot and killed Christopher Mena while he was sleeping in his Jeep in a Walgreens parking lot in Sunnyside.
"He was 35 years old. He was single. He wanted a life, and he wanted a family," Hinton said.
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Hinton comes to the meetings to talk about her son and listen to other people who know what she's going through.
"Everybody here has one common denominator that no one wishes that they had," Andy Kahan with Crime Stoppers said. "They lost a loved one due to homicide. Only they know what someone walking in their shoes feels like."
Kahan has been a part of the meetings for more than 20 years. He says the group has grown in the last year. "Just look at the skyrocketing homicide rates," he said. "These are numbers I haven't seen in 30-some odd years."
For Hinton, the community is irreplaceable. "It takes groups to heal. It's been a year. Without them, I don't know where I would have been," she said.
The Parents of Murdered Children group meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Dave Ward Crime Stoppers building.
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