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Vigil Honors Michigan Crime Victims

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Wednesday evening in the capitol rotunda, the 26th annual Michigan Crime Victims Vigil brought together dozens of families, friends and supporters of those who lost their lives to violent crime.  

One of people at the vigil was Barbara Clark of Saginaw. Her 17-year-old son, Tommie Ford, was murdered in 1998.

“He picked up my son Easter Sunday morning, took him in a wooded area, and murdered him and left him there,” said Clark. “He continued to go back and do different things to his body for almost a month.”

Clark said the convicted killer was just 16 years old at the time of the murder.

Attorney General Bill Schuette co-hosted the vigil with state senators Tonya Schuitmaker and Steve Beida, and said as chief law enforcement officer for the state of Michigan, it’s his job to be a voice for crime victims. “If you had a loved one who’s been brutally murdered, or if you’ve been assaulted, or if you’ve been a victim of rape or kidnapping or brutal assault, you need to have someone standing by your side, standing up for you,” he said.

Clark applauds lawmakers’ efforts to defend crime victims, but she added all citizens have their own role in preventing crime. “We start at home,” she said. “We educate first at home as parents, and then we spread it to the community, because it takes a village to raise one child.  And if we get together and help each other, then I believe our society will be better.”

Wednesday’s vigil was sponsored by Michigan’s Crime Victim Foundation.
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