Sobbing could be heard through the lawn of the Thomas County Court House Wednesday morning. Folks gathered for a ceremony to pay homage to families of crime victims and to remind them that there is help and hope.
It's been four years, but Phyillis Chastain-Nail says she still vividly recalls the day her son was taken from her.
"My son was murdered and his best friend Justin Maddox was murdered. They were walking down the street in our neighborhood a man just shot and killed both boys in the back of the head. They were good boys, they were in the wrong place at the wrong time," says Phyllis.
Several victims of crime gave their heart-rending testimonies Wednesday in honor of Crime Victims' Rights Week. City and county officials informed them of state funded financial resources and grief programs available to help during such a time and also sent out a wake-up call to the public.
"Most of these people are indeed truly innocent victim's. Certainly children are not asking to be molested, people are not asking to be sexually assaulted or murdered. The community needs to be aware of the pain these people have to endure," says J. David Miller, with the southern judicial circuit.
"This past Saturday was real hard for me it was Thomas County Central prom and I should be dressing Adam to go to prom," Phyllis says.
As for victims like Nail, the reality of living without her son has set in and she says prayer helps her cope along with another special part of her son that does live on.
Six thousand felony crimes each year in the southern judicial circuit. Crime victim's services are available for victims and there is also a child advocacy center coming in the near future.