Annual homicide vigil honors 52 people killed in 2017

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Every year, the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office organizes a special vigil around the holidays to give grieving families a chance to pay tribute to their loved ones. One mother 2 NEWS spoke with says no matter how much time passes, experiencing the holidays without her son never gets any easier.

Bag pipes whistling in remembrance of 52 people killed at the hands of another this year in Montgomery County.

“It’s alot,” Montgomery County Prosecuting Attorney Mat Heck said. “It’s 52 too many.”

Prosecutor Heck was joined by a congregation of families at Westminster Presbyterian Church Monday. Some of them are experiencing the holidays for the first time without their loved one.

“The community understands,” Prosecutor said. “That they are suffering a dear loss and we are here to support them and help them.”

“My son was 19-years-old,” Linda Parrish said. “And had been in the navy for 6 months. He came home for Christmas and was murdered.”

Parrish’s son was killed on Christmas Eve 28 years ago.

After his death, Parrish struggled to cope, but eventually found support through the prosecutor’s office which in 1990 started this holiday vigil. Parrish has been coming every year since.

“I go to encourage the families,” Parrish said. “To let them know that even though it seems impossible now, you can get through it.”

This year, 52 people were honored, which is down from the 65 honored last year.

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