KANSAS CITY, Mo. - July 28, 2013, is a day one metro mother doesn't want to remember. It's the day her son died after being brutally stabbed just walking home.
On Friday, though, Michelle Metje got to mark a bittersweet milestone- the day her murdered son received his college diploma.
"Today is the day that my oldest son graduates from college," said Metje.
It's the day Michelle Metje, a former teacher at Wright Career College, an education enthusiast, had always dreamed of, but she never pictured an empty seat.
The vacant seat should have been where Corey Laykovich sat among his classmates receiving their associate's degrees. He wanted to continue his education to become a teacher.
Corey's entire life, though, was short. He was stabbed within two blocks from his Independence home last July, he stumbled back to his house barely alive and died not long after.
During his 22 years, Corey was a college student, a one-time member of the U.S. Army, and a loyal son.
On behalf of her son, Michelle finished the journey Corey worked so hard to accomplish. Tearfully, she received his diploma. While one goal is accomplished, Michelle's biggest goal is still waiting- to find Corey's killer.
"He's not here to walk across the stage, but someone else is out in public doing whatever they choose to do," Metje said.
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of his killer is $8,000. Michelle knows someone is hiding that secret, and she prays one day it will be revealed.
"Like it's my responsibility to keep Corey's name out there, it's your responsibility to turn in the person who did this," Metje said.
Corey's mother along with friends and family have started a network for victims of crime- it's called "Corey's Network." Friday night, Wright Career College donated $2,000 to the network to help it get off the ground. If you know who killed Corey Laykovich, call the TIPS Hotline 474-TIPS.
If you want to find out more about Corey and his family's efforts to find his killer and help other victims, click here.