Crime in Houston: Parents of murdered children seek answers and support at monthly meetings

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Behind every headline about a murder, there’s a family struggling to figure out what it means. Violent criminals in our area are being victimized by a growing group of people looking for answers and support.

Many people have found support through a group called Parents of murdered children. Houston has one of the largest and most active organizations in the nation.

Their powers are amazing, and their stories are equally devastating. The group is open to anyone who has experienced the murder of a loved one. Participants have the opportunity to open up in a room where everyone knows exactly what they are dealing with.

Marnita Hinton recounts the day she lost her son. “It was November 14, 2020. It was the worst day of my life,” she said.

Someone shot and killed Christopher Mena while he was sleeping in his Jeep in a Walgreens parking lot in Sunnyside.

“He’s 35. He’s single. He wants a life, and he wants a family,” Hinton said.

READ MORE: Community and family activists push for justice over man’s death

Hinton goes to meetings to talk about her son and listen to others who know what she’s going through.

“Everybody here has a common denominator that no one wishes they had,” said Andy Kahan of Crime Stoppers. “They lost a loved one to a murder. Only they know how someone feels in their shoes.”

Kahan has been a part of meetings for over 20 years. He says the team has grown over the past year. “Just look at the skyrocketing homicide rate,” he said. “These are numbers that I haven’t seen in 30 years.”

For Hinton, community is irreplaceable. “The groups need to heal. It’s been a year. Without them, I don’t know where I would be,” she said.

The Parents of Murdered Children Group meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Tuesday of every month at the Dave Ward Crime Stoppers building.

RELATED: Houston leaders hope $44 million program will tackle alarming rise in crime

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Dais Johnston

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