Family members of homicide victims gathered to remember loved ones

On the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims, family members of those who passed away due to violence gathered.
Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 7:43 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 25, 2022 at 11:39 PM EDT
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - On the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims, family members of those who passed away due to violence gathered and prayed, listened to poetry, music and received a candle to honor their loved ones.

For the 16th year in a row, the Survivors of Homicide Support Group hosted an event at the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday.

Douglas Warner lost his daughter in 2004; he says her husband murdered her in New York. Support groups and events like this make Warner and his wife realize they are not alone.

“I mean, our pain is very emotional, even still after 18 years,” Warner says. “We’re able better to control our pain a little bit, I guess. But there’s still times that after 18 years, we both still cry.”

Easter Laroche, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office Victim Services Coordinator, started the group 21 years ago when she realized that the area did not have a homicide support group. After all the years of running the group, Laroche says that the turnout shows that the group is still needed.

“The support services really helps the survivors so that they know that they are not alone,” Laroche says, “To see all these other survivors coming together and that they are going through the same thing, has really, really been instrumental to them.”

Mary Stewart lost her son on Feb. 22, 2022, and the case is still open. Her sister, Eloise Felder, says the last year has been very hard on her.

“It brings a little peace to her and it’s still hard,” Felder says. “It’s very hard for her and she needs to find somewhere where she can find peace and just happiness. You know, experiencing it with everybody else.”

The Survivors of Homicide Support Group meets throughout the year to help survivors gain a better understanding of their loss. Laroche hopes that the group continues to meet for years to come.

“We have to always remember these people are human beings, our mothers, our sisters, brothers children that are suffering as a result of homicide,” Laroche says. “So, the need is there, and I hope that the services will continue. I think it will as long as we put the survivors, the victims first and ourselves second. It will survive.”