INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Metro families came together on Sunday night. Many of them have something in common, but wish they didn’t. Their family member is a victim in an unsolved homicide. They gathered to tell their loved one’s stories, pray, sing, and bring awareness to the pain they feel each day. They lined the intersection of 39th Street and Crackerneck Rd.
The event was organized by Corey’s Network which is run by Michelle Metje. Her son, Corey Laykovich, was murdered five years before behind an apartment complex near the same intersection.
“I didn’t sign up to be Corey’s mom until the day he died, I signed up to be his mom until I die,” Metje said.
Metje says she can never let go of her son’s memory.
“Corey was stabbed twice. He walked home, and when he got home my son found him,” Metje said. “We called 911, and from there it took 3 and a half years.”
In January of 2017, a break in the case came when John Seger was charged with 2nd degree murder. Prosecutors accuse John Seger, 24, with killing Laykovich during the overnight hours of July 27, 2013. Court documents describe what Laykovich’s family said that he and Seger had a long-standing feud. Seger is set to head to trial in August.
Years later, Metje still misses her son along with all the birthdays and holidays she hoped she could spend with him.
“Instead, I spend that time out in the public trying to help people understand the issues that are in front of us.” Metje said.
Metje says Corey’s Network keeps her going by giving families the support they need during the worst time in their lives. Families like Jenny Donaldson’s.
“I want to know who. I want to know why. All I know is he got shot, and he died,” Donaldson said.
Her son, Chad Donaldson’s case remains unsolved.
“It’s real unsettling when you know that a killer is probably out walking around while your son is gone because of that person. It`s very unsettling,” Donaldson said.
The women want to raise awareness through this vigil to remind people that even though time passes, some families will never find answers.
“That person killed my son, but in some ways he killed me also,” Donaldson said.
“To be able to help them through it – it’s almost like helping your brother or sister, and to be able to hold their hand in their time of crisis,” Metje said.
Metje says if she can’t help Corey, at least she can help families who wait, and maybe one day they can move forward.
“Now you can’t be supermom. You just can’t. So instead, you take on the world, because even though he’s not here – I am,” Metje said.
Corey’s Network doesn’t just support victim’s families, but it also connects them with resources they may not know that are available to them.
Chad’s family and detectives are hoping that a $10,000 reward will help solve the case.
If you have any information on this case, please call the TIPS hotline at 816-474- TIPS. All tips are anonymous.