Monterey County residents travel to capitol to remember lost loved ones

Families of Central Coast crime victims flock to Capitol

SALINAS, Calif. - A group from Monterey County once again made the trip to the state capitol to represent their loved ones who were murdered. People will be making the journey from all over the state to stand in solidarity

Here's a look at some of the latest numbers in California: homicide rates have increased in the state from 1,697 in 2014 to 1,930 in 2016. The homicide arrest rate has remained the same throughout those years, arresting only 1.3 percent of suspects.

It was an understandably emotional morning for the dozens who showed up to hop on a bus to Sacramento. Their goal? To make a statement about ending violent crime, and make sure their lost loved ones are never forgotten.

"He was murdered January 7th, 2015."
"My nephew passed away May 5th, 2015. He was shot 15 times."
"My grand daughter was murdered when she was two years old."

Mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents, dozens of Monterey County residents with a similar story; losing a young family member to violence.

"It's been very hard, especially for my sister. All these years without him. I raised him for 5 years when he was young so it's taken a big toll on the family and all we want is to find justice one day," said Maria Amarillas who's nephew was murdered.

For the tenth year in a row, families head up to the capitol to share those stories.

"I go up there with everyone else who is going through this. This is a way for us to be able to release some of our grief and be there for other parents or grandparents who have lost their children," said Connie Hernandez who's Granddaughter was murdered.

A tradition that's needed for many of these families.

"They know we're here to support everybody. Everybody is like a family because we're all in the same boat. We all want to find justice," said Amarillas.

Monday, they march on the capitol to keep victim's names alive. They say it's not an easy task, but one they all do as a group.

"This is a good group that we belong to, but it's a sad reason why we belong to it," said Hernandez.

Those attending the march on the capitol Monday will also attend the 19th annual Victim's Dedication Ceremony in Salinas this friday. that will be at noon at 168 West Alisal Street, and they encourage anyone who's lost a loved one to violence to come out, as well as anyone else who just wants to show their support.

"You know, people don't understand how this changes your whole life, and like she said, it doesn't get easier," said Debbie Sorto who's Grandson was murdered.




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