Parents of Murdered Children search for answers and support at monthly meetings

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Behind every headline about a homicide, there is a family struggling to make sense of it. The violent crime in our area is victimizing a growing group of people looking for answers and support.

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.

READ MORE: Family and community activists push for justice in man's death
EMBED More News Videos

Volunteers helped relatives in their search for answers after a man was shot to death as he slept in his car.

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.

RELATED: Houston leaders hope $44 million program will solve alarming rise in crime
EMBED More News Videos

The initiative includes an aim at bail bond companies, who the mayor said have been taking substantially less than the 10% required to post bond.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.