Easter egg hunt memorializes murdered Rockford family - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Easter egg hunt memorializes murdered Rockford family


A Rockford family found shot to death inside their burning home in 2011 is remembered at a community wide Easter egg hunt. The family of Natasha Cleary and her two young boys say they hope the event helps bring their loved one's killers to justice.

Cleary's cousins helped to organize the Easter party.  The event began as a private family gathering last year to remember those lost, and has expanded this time around to include the whole community.

"and then I just kind of thought that maybe we could do it as a group thing so everybody could be involved and let the world know that we have not forgotten about the three of those guys," says Cojuana Barbary, Cleary's cousin.  

Cleary and her sons, two year old Katarion Friar, and 12 year old Marquon Owens, were found murdered inside their Canterbury Lane home in 2011. Police believe the killer then set the building on fire to cover up the murders. No arrests have been made yet.

"I miss them dearly, I'm sure there are several other people who miss them as well," says Barbary.

Out of love, Natasha's family hosts the public Easter egg hunt at Rockford's Levings Lake Park. The party is made complete with music, food, and activities for the kids.

Her family's only wish is that Cleary and her children could be there to see it for themselves.  "She would be happy, she would be happy. And I'm sure if the kids were here they would have a very good time,"says Barbary.

Several area motorcycle groups also showed their support for the family through their presence.  

In total, nearly 200 community members came out to the egg hunt.  Tracy Crowley, Another of Cleary's cousins, says the high turnout means a lot to her. "It just lets the community know that they are not forgotten even though we have not found the perpetrators of her crime, or their crime," says Crowley.  

Next month marks the two year anniversary of Cleary and her two sons' deaths.

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