Thursday, city leaders paid a special tribute to victims of crime at the Victims' Memorial Garden at Phelps Grove Park. Eleven victims were honored, including Hailey Owens.
It's been two months since the Springfield girl was murdered shortly after she was kidnapped. Since 1991, this garden has been dedicated to remembering victims of crime, their families, and law enforcement who work to solve cases.
Janis McCall was at the dedication service. She is the mother of Stacy McCall, one of the three women that vanished in 1992. She has attended several of the brick laying ceremonies to honor not only her daughter, but the other crime victims and their families. "We can come together and be recognized all as one all the families of the victims and that you kind of bond together all the victims it doesn't matter what kind of crime victim it is," says McCall.
Wesley North and Leslie Mowell's son, Weston north was stabbed to death in December of 20-11. for them - coming to the Victims Memorial Garden helps them be at peace with what happened to their son. "It think it's a way to celebrate the lives of our lost ones," says North. "That's how it feels to me. My son is not here but he's somewhere and I'm thinking that he knows we're here because of him, to celebrate him and to let him know we really miss him."
By her husbands side, Leslie Mowell, Weston's step-mom says the garden is a place where Weston and the other victims serve as a constant reminder that crime like this does occur in the Ozarks. " We feel the others that are here not just Weston its like you feel the presence of other people that's here. Its not only people that have passed away but its people that have helped victims they have bricks down here as well."
Kaiden Light, an infant who was smothered to death in 20-10 was also honored.