Witnesses urged to come forward at ceremony for victims' families
BATON ROUGE - Grieving families gathered in Baton Rouge Thursday night at a special ceremony hosted by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office.
Nearly everyone in attendance at the Evening of Remembrance lost loved ones to violence in 2015. More than 70 people were honored Thursday, including Brittney Mills, who was shot and killed on her doorstep in April 2015. She was pregnant at the time, and her son died at the hospital a week later. Brittney's mom, Barbara, spoke at the ceremony.
Other relatives of murder victims spoke about tragic cases they are connected to.
"Three and a half months after my daughter's murder, someone kills my daughter's father," Shirrone Patterson said. "I was in shock...All I could is walk outside and look at the sky". Patterson's daughter, Donlisha, was killed in June.
Mills' murder, like some of the other 70+ in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2016, remains unsolved. Law enforcement discussed their frustration with getting witnesses and people with knowledge of crimes to come forward.
"There's not a crime in East Baton Rouge Parish that someone doesn't have direct knowledge of," Sheriff Sid Gautreaux explains. "Sometimes it's before the crime is committed, sometimes it's after, but this reluctance to share that information with law enforcement, with the one's who can help solve these crimes, and in some instances prevent it, is just appalling to me.
Law enforcement also reminded those in attendance that crimes can be reported anonymously.