RAYTOWN, Mo. – A metro family celebrated a loved one’s birthday Wednesday night, but it wasn’t all fun and gifts.
You could smell the grill as you pulled up the street. There were poster cards, cupcakes and balloons. It was the standard setup for a family birthday party. The only thing is the guest of honor wasn’t there.
Someone murdered Brandon Herring.
“He loved chicken. He loved steak. This is what you do when you love someone. You just don’t forget," Rhonda Herring said of her son as she flipped food on a sizzling grill.
Brandon was 20 when disappeared in November 2016, last seen near 87th and Blue Ridge.
“When I knew he didn’t contact no one, not even me, when he didn’t show up for his child’s birth, I knew there was something wrong at that point," said Shakala Nevins, the mother of his child.
Two months later, he was found dead in a wooded area in Cass County.
“We grew up together, always did everything together. Without him, it wasn’t me," his closest friend Nolan Burrell said.
Brandon’s son is now two. Little King Joseph stares at pictures of the father who was gone before he arrived, but those who loved Brandon make sure his son knows who he was.
“Watching King grow up and knowing [Brandon’s] not here to watch that; he was here for my son like it was his own," Burrell said.
“He didn’t even get to see his son’s face. That’s what hurts the most," Nevins said.
There were no presents Wednesday, but the only gift that matters to Brandon’s family is the arrest and prosecution of whoever killed him.
“I know there is hope. I was raised with hope and faith. There’s faith over fear," his mother said.
If you know who killed Brandon, reach out to Crime Stoppers at 816-474-8477. You can also submit a tip online here. They don’t have a way to track your name or number, and they’ll share only your tip with detectives.