YUMA, Ariz. – On Thursday evening several residents in Yuma came together at the Yuma Main Library for the 6th annual Remembrance of Homicide Victims ceremony. We spoke to many people that attended who lost loved ones in several different ways. The room where the meeting took place was filled with several photos of homicide victims and candles and white roses to honor them.
We spoke to Chuck Wullenjohn who says his daughter Amanda was murdered in 1999, he explained what happened to her, “She was a student at Cibola high school she was 16 years old there were a couple of kids that were graduates of the school that lured her into a house and murdered her.” Wullenjohn says even though events like this ceremony help in a supportive way the pain is always there. “We still think of Amanda think of her everyday so the pain it never goes away”, says Wullenjohn.
We also spoke to Susan Johns, her son Brian died in a crash with a drunk driver in 2011. Johns says ,”“It’s a daily struggle but we are there for each other without all our friends and family we wouldn’t be were we are at”. She says she is left with wonderful memories of her son Brian, “We always called him our gentle giant and he was so kind not a mean streak in him everyone loved him”.
Officials with the Yuma Police Department attended including John Lekan, who says they make a connection with the families of these victims and are there for support, “We form relationships with these victims from the investigation stage all the way to the prosecution stage.”
The event was very emotional but the relatives of these victims of homicide say that the community support they feel help with the ever present pain.