Salt Lake City, Utah — On Sunday night, dozens of heartbroken friends and family members gathered on the south steps of the Utah State Capitol to pay tribute to their deceased loved ones.
The vigil was held on Sunday, which was National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims, by a nonprofit organization called Utah Homicide Survivors.
“This event is meant to bring together the surviving family, friends, and other persons affected by the homicide of the loved one,” the organization said in a statement. “We have many different viewpoints on media attention, the death penalty, plea deals, the criminal justice process, and how to best support surviving family members of homicide victims.”
A memory photo garden was displayed below the Capitol steps, remembering homicide victims.
“Last year, we hardly had anybody here. It was mostly just a handful, and I think this is just awesome that people should remember these people. They mattered — every life matters,” said Darcie Housley, the mother of Brian Housley, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Ogden nearly five years ago. “No one has the right to take somebody’s life. It’s just not right.”
Her son’s case is still unsolved and has been listed as a cold case.
“Say their name, share their story,” said KayLynn Stafford, the mother of Cory Haney, who was stabbed to death by his housemate in Salt Lake City in 2019. “Hopefully we can make some changes with the legislature to help move things along, remembering how thoughtless and how unnecessary all this pain can be.”