Families find relief and hope at CMPD's Homicide Support Group

Image 1 of 2

What if someone told you would never see the person you love the most ever again because someone took their life?

How do you recover?

Can you recover?

"It never goes away. You always have that grief around," James Warren Price Sr. said.

The Prices know that feeling all too well. Their son James Warren Jr.  was murdered almost four years ago. He was stabbed in the heart trying to protect his girlfriend.

“He would do anything for you and he told them he didn't come out there for that foolishness. Fighting and stuff. He said ‘I want to go home,’ that what he told them right there and then they killed him," Price Sr. said.

The emotions are still raw for them.

“At times, you really have to vent and talk about your loved ones but like I said after a week or so I don't care how close you are. People don't want to hear it but it's something that you don't talk about and you hold it in, it could make you sick," Elaine Price said.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department reached out to the Price's to join their Homicide Support Group so they could get their feelings out. It took a few months to get them there but they're glad they finally decided to go.

"You can go there and say whatever you want to and get some relief because people that have never gone through what we went through, they want you to get over the grief quick. There, you can grieve as long as you want to," Price Sr. said.

The Homicide Support Group began with a grant in 2009 and now it's fully funded by CMPD.

Families that have lost a loved one can go there to vent and even ask questions to detectives and the district attorney about how they process crime scenes or general information about the court system.

“The connection between families where they have other people that are grieving and going through the same things they are going through, things that we as officers couldn't see and understand by talking to them, it helps us and also tells us things they want us to do to make them feel better while they are going through the process," CMPD Homicide Support Group Supervisor Sergeant Ricky Robbins said

Thanks to the group, certain police procedures have changed like removing a body from a scene quicker.

"We found out that by the body still being out there, the family was suffering a whole lot more," Sgt. Robbins said

Families can also serve their community. If families are up to it, they can volunteer to join officers at the scene of a murder to counsel grieving family and friends.

"Just by somebody saying I know how you feel and they do know how they feel because they've gone through that, I think that's better than me saying I know how you feel and have not been a member of a family of a homicide and those things are beneficial to everybody," Sgt. Robbins said

The group may not take all the pain away or fill the void but there, the prices say they feel they are respected.

"You never get over it. You never get completely over it. I don't care who your child is. Sometimes people judge, that's what I like about the group. We don't judge,” Elaine Price said.

This year the Prices were told their son's murder was finally solved. Since his murder they've been volunteering and helping others in the group.

Also happening this year, the Homicide Support Group will be expanding to include families that have lost a loved one in a car accident.