LAWRENCE, Ind. – Two years after 22-year-old Aaron Grice was found beaten and shot on the day after Christmas, his family continues to demand justice in his death.
“It’s time to stop, especially the violence,” said Mary Love, Grice’s mother.
On Saturday, family, friends and strangers gathered outside of the Canterbury House Apartments, where Grice was killed, to hold a candlelight vigil and balloon release in his memory.
Love said the pain of losing her son never gets easier.
“I just want somebody to help me get justice so I can sleep. For two years I have not been able to sleep, and it’s hard to function when you lose a child and you don’t know what to do about it.
“This is two years, and it still feels like the same night that I found my son out here behind a trash can,” she said. “It’s no different from that day to this day.”
She tried to save her only son when he was found lying on the ground. It’s a memory that still haunts her.
During the gathering in Grice’s honor Saturday, Love said it was about much more than her son. She wants justice for the murder victims in the Indianapolis area whose cases have gone unsolved.
From Jan. 1 through Dec. 17 of 2020, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department alone has 140 unsolved murders.
“It’s time to stop. This is not the way that we should celebrate our kids. We should celebrate birthdays, holidays, Christmas with joy with them. Not outside, lighting up candles, bringing pictures of them and releasing balloons,” said Love.
At Saturday’s vigil and balloon release, families of other young adults and children joined to honor Grice, while holding photos of their loved ones also lost to gun violence.
“We are out here for all of them, not just my son,” said Love. “It’s for all of them to let them know that it’s not gonna stop til’ we get justice for these kids.”
Melissa Jude, who lost her son, 20-year-old Chandler Bussey, to gun violence in June of 2020, attended Saturday’s memorial.
“This is something we have to do to support each other in these times,” said Jude. “It’s the only way we can get through it.”
Bussey’s murder also remains unsolved.
“This holiday season has been extremely tough. It’s been sadness, a lot of anger, because the killers are walking free, having laughter and family dinner time with their families. Meanwhile, we’re all struggling at this point to even come to terms to eating,” she said.
She said she came to Saturday’s vigil to stand in solidarity with other families and to bring awareness to these crimes.
“We’re not gonna stop until we start pushing through and seeing change, whether that means lobbying for law changes to protect witnesses or whatever needs to happen,” she said. “We’re losing far too many kids out here.”
Jude said, “It’s just about seeking justice and supporting other moms and parents that have lost their child because you really don’t understand what it’s like until you are walking in their shoes.”
Love told CBS4 she feels a lot of these cases go unsolved because people are afraid to speak up or report what happened.
“We need to change it,” said Love. “A lot of people won’t talk because when it comes to testifying, they have to put their name out. If it was one of your loved ones, and you’d want somebody to help you solve that case.
“I don’t want to lose someone by helping me solve my son’s case, but I do want justice for my son, and I want justice for a lot of these other kids because we have to stop somewhere,” said Love. “We all gonna stick together no matter what just to get justice. If it’s for one or two – we at least get justice for one.”
According to the Lawrence Police Department, there have been no arrests in Grice’s case.
If you have any information on this case, or any other cases, you are encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 262-TIPS. You can remain anonymous.