Unsolved murders lead to 'Stop the Violence' rally

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012

EDGEFIELD, S.C. -- It's the unsolved crimes that leave families devastated with no closure. That's the case for one Edgefield mother.

Two years after her son was murdered, the case is still unsolved. Desperate for answers, she stood at a rally begging people to "Stop the Violence."

"It's hard. It's really hard, but I know I can't let this control my life. But I need to find out what happened to my son," mother Carolyn Bates said through sobs.

Desperate words from a mother whose son was murdered in July of 2010 and still has no answers to who pulled the trigger.

"I gotta know. I just got to. I got to know. And I know somebody knows something. I know somebody knows something. I know they do," Bates said.

That's why people gathered at Trinity Community Church for a rally they're calling "Stop the Violence."

Larry Sanders Jr. was killed after someone broke into his house and shot him in the chest, but the family knows little more than that.

"All I know is that somebody came in to his house and murdered him. Even still now, I really feel like I'm still in a dream," Bates said.

Another mother suffers the same pain of the unknown. She lost two children and a brother to murder.

She says the memory of finding her oldest son's remains still haunts her.

"Today I see people walking around that look like him. 'Cause I didn't get a chance to see him, put him in the ground. I put bones in the ground," grieving mother Cheryl Robertson Weldon said.

Through the grief, these mothers are speaking out and raising awareness in honor of all the victims of violent crimes.

"My grandchildren are gonna ask me, 'What happened to my Daddy?' and we need to be able to tell them, because they need to know," Bates said.

While the pain of unanswered questions gnaws at her every day, Bates says one thing will make her son's death worth it.

"If my tragedy would stop another criminal or murderer from taking somebody else's child, and if they heard my story, then like I said, it's fine," Bates said.

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