KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Taking steps toward justice as two families take action to ease heartache. Now they are faced with a changing mission. The group is calling the new movement, “Justice in Kansas City.” Leaders are teaming up with detectives across state lines, hoping to help solve as many unsolved homicides as they can.
“Their death will not go in vain,” Larry Tolefree affirmed.
Tolefree and Lynn Murray know what it’s like to be affected by murder in Kansas City all too well. They lost their 3-year-old grandson Amorian Hale in May of 2015 and just a few months later, their daughter 23-year-old Vernae Watson was shot while stopped at an intersection in the metro.
“It's devastating. To lose a daughter and to lose my grandson. It was senseless. Cowards,” Murray said.
A total of three men have been charged with first degree murder in Amorian’s death, and while the family believes the two homicides might be connected, they still don’t have many answers in Vernae’s case.
“We know that in order for change to occur there has to be a beginning of change. We feel we are that beginning,” Tolefree said.
The two teamed up with metro organization Hearts Infinity INC and have been marching every weekend since Vernae’s murder.
“People were noticing. People started reaching out to us, hey can you come and march for my person or my loved one?” organizer Alissa Henderson said.
So the group decided instead of marching for one, why not march for several? They created the movement “Justice in Kansas City,” combining several unsolved cases across state lines. The group hopes to bring hundreds together and give families that much more of a chance of getting answers.
“Together we stand, divided we fall,” Lynn Murray said.
Five victims will be the focus during a march Saturday, including Amorian and Vernae. A duo their family knows is together, in a better place.
“They know we love them, they know we will fight,” Murray said.
“Justice in Kansas City” will have its first event Saturday, February 27th at 12:30. Leaders will meet marchers at 2604 Brooklyn in KCMO.