Natasha Cleary and sons remembered three years after their murde - – Rockford’s News Leader

Natasha Cleary and sons remembered three years after their murders

Natasha Cleary and sons remembered three years after their murders

It's been three years since someone killed two young Rockford boys and their mother. Their extended family says there's still more questions left than answers.  They're not giving up hope that one day their loved ones' killer will be brought to justice.  

Easter weekend, a time many families spend together. But for Cynthia Horton, a Rockford mother, holidays will never be the same.  "We know for sure that Tasha loved her family and friends. She would have been a beautician. She was going to school before this horrendous act took place April 17th 2011."

On that night, her daughter, Natasha Cleary, was shot and killed. So were two sons, 12-year-old Marquwon Owens and 2-year-old Katarion Friar. The killer then set the house one fire, trying to cover up the crime. Despite a massive community outpouring and even a picture of a possible suspect, who used Cleary's ATM card after her death, the murderer has never been caught.

"It's a scary thought that we don't know where these people are. It really is," says Janene Stephenson, who attended the remembrance walk.  

Because of this, the process of healing is slow for many of Cleary's family members.  "I just wish she was here,  and my nephews. Just to talk to her and give her a hug," says Warley Horton, one of Natasha Cleary's brothers.  

They mark the anniversary each year with a memorial walk.  The crowd of nearly 100  marched south  from the YMCA to the Whitman Street bridge. Many of the marchers wore purple  to represent awareness of the issue that took the lives of Natasha and her boys.

"We need to put the word out, the awareness out of domestic violence. There's too much violence in Rockford. It's not just my loss, there are other people in the community that have lost loved ones like this," says Cynthia.

Cleary's mother says she wants to see Canterbury Lane, the street Natasha and her sons were living on when they were killed, named after them as way to honor their memory.

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