Family members of crime victims seek path to healing with annual ceremony

Family members of crime victims seek path to healing with annual ceremony

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Meeting pain and grief with solace and hope. It’s what National Crimes Victims’ Rights Week is about. On Thursday, crime victim family members, law enforcement officers and community support groups gathered together for a candlelight ceremony.

“It says to you that your loved one is not forgotten, and that means the world to people,” said Kevin Felsher, Distirct 117 State Representative.

People like the Mauffrays, who lost their 19-year-old daughter Vanessa Mauffray in 2016 during a DUI boating incident in Bayou Caddy. At this event, Vanessa, along with countless other crime victims were remembered, as candles glimmered and all involved shared in the healing process.

Vanessa Mauffray, 19, died in a fatal boat crash in 2016.
Vanessa Mauffray, 19, died in a fatal boat crash in 2016. (Source: WLOX)

“From the early stages we must be constant in the support of victims. In the aftermath of crime there is shock, pain, devastation, trauma, fear,” said Crosby Parker, District Attorney for the 2nd Circuit Court-Mississippi. “There’s confusion about what’s happening now and what will happen in the future.”

For the Mauffrays, there’s closure thanks to law enforcement officers like Mississippi Department of Marine Resources investigator Patrick Carron, who worked the case through until a conviction was made.

“This is an opportunity to show that there is a path of hope,” Parker added.

Today’s annual event wraps up National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

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