Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims helps Iowans with grief

Some in Eastern Iowa are taking part in a National Day of Remembrance event to share stories of family and friends they've lost to homicide.
Published: Sep. 25, 2022 at 10:53 PM CDT
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EVANSDALE, Iowa (KCRG) - A small crowd gathered at Angels Park in Evansdale Sunday to share stories of the loved ones they’ve lost to homicide.

Sunday was the National Day of Remembrance for Homicide Victims. Heidi Rance was at Angels Park to remember her son, who was killed in 2006.

“My son, Anthony Maring, was murdered by my husband. He was eight years old,” Rance said.

Rance started the local Day of Remembrance because she needed others who understood the loss she’d experienced.

“When mine happened in 2006, there was nobody to talk to,” Rance said. “It’s very, very important that you’re able to find people that understand what you’re going through.”

One of those people is Michael Whitis. His daughter Tyliyah was found dead with an apparent gunshot wound in Cedar Rapids last year.

“She’s just my only kid and it hurts, every day,” Whitis said. “I wouldn’t wish this on nobody, this pain.”

Rance handed off hosting the Day of Remembrance to the Homicide/Other Violent Crimes Program, but she still attends so she can raise awareness of what she’s gone through.

“It’s not just, ‘This person was killed’ and that’s the end of the story. There’s a whole family behind that person. Doesn’t matter who they are, where they came from,“ Rance said.