GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A Grand Rapids support group provides support for the families of murder victims.
It's not a group anyone wants to be a member of. But after nine homicides in the City of Grand Rapids between mid-December and mid-January -- four of which remain unsolved -- more people need Conquerors Support Group.
The common bond for each member of the group: Someone in their family was murdered.
Conquerors just observed the fifth anniversary of its founding. In addition to emotional support, the group also provides other assistance to families of homicide victims, including help with burial costs, when possible. If you would like to get involved, or make a financial donation, you can do so by visiting the group's website.
"When somebody else takes your child's life, that's so different," said group member Julie Whitby.
Whitby's son, Brandon, was murdered five years ago. That is when the group was formed. Before that, there was no support for the families of murder victims.
"It's been hard for both of us," said Robert Cherry.
On Dec. 29, 2012, Celia and Robert Cherry's son, Jason, was murdered in their basement.
"We heard the shots fire out," Celia recalled.
Two men barged in, killed their son and injured three other people. The couple were upstairs.
"Are you really safe in your own home, when you are in your house behind closed doors?" questioned Celia. "It's 10:30, 11:00 at night on a Saturday night. You are sitting at home watching TV, you would feel like you are safe. But then these things happened."
Jason Cherry's death is one the police say is solved -- two people were arrested in connection to the crime earlier this month.
Tuesday was only the third time the Cherrys attended a Conqueror group meeting, but the couple told 24 Hour News 8 it helps, and now they are able to help others.
A week after their son's funeral, a friend lost her son.
"I saw her and I comforted her and I let her know immediately about this group we were in, and all of a sudden I felt strong," said Celia.
Conquerors Support Group
P.O. Box 7552
Grand Rapids, MI
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