Monday, December 6, 2010
Two members of a group of teens who were murdered ten years ago this week are finally getting a headstone to honor them. The two were part of the group dubbed the Forgotten Four. Tuesday, the headstone will be dedicated.
"I just can't even find the right words to describe how I feel or what it means to me," said Candice Reed.
Reed stood next to the headstone she's worked hard to get for her two friends. Quincy Williams and Dessa Ford were two of four young teens who were killed in early December, 2000. Reed has worked to raise the funds for the stone for the last three years.
"I feel like it's almost a completion of something, not an accomplishment, but a completion," Reed explained. "Now I can put it all away and not just keep wondering what the ending really will be."
The four teenagers were found together in a duplex 10 years ago this week, but media attention quickly turned to a second quadruple homicide the very next week... and so the group was dubbed the Forgotten Four.
" I just hope that, as a community, we can stop playing the blame game and stop looking for reasons to say, 'well, because they were white they got this, or because they were black, they didn't do this.' It can be more of a fact that if we work together, this is what we can produce," Reed said.
Reed eventually wants to start a scholarship or trust fund to help victims of violence. A candlelight vigil is planned for 6:00 PM Tuesday evening at White Chapel Gardens in Wichita, where the headstone will be unveiled.
"Let's teach the next generation that we do care, that violence will not be tolerated under any circumstances regardless of the details of the story," Reed said.
"Rayeshawnda Wheaton and Jermaine Levy are buried in other cemeteries in Wichita. Finally, Reed says, all four of these victims can be forgotten no more.