Survivors of crime victims gather to remember loved ones

VERO BEACH – Family members and friends of those killed as a result of criminal actions of others gathered Thursday at Veterans Memorial Island Sanctuary to remember their loved ones.

“We must not – cannot forget the real victims of crime,” said Paul Zelno, a member of the Indian River County Victims’ Rights Coalition, during the 19th annual Victims’ Rights Vigil.

Zelno lost his wife, Donna, in 2007 to a drunk driver.

Vero Beach attorney Erin Grall, a candidate for the District 29 seat in the Florida House of Representatives, was the keynote speaker during the vigil.

Grall, a friend of Zelno’s son from school days, went to the hospital to be with the family when Donna was brought it after the crash.

“I saw first-hand the impact of the death of Donna” on the Zelnos, Grall said.

She also told the audience that a young woman she knew her freshman year of college was killed in a DUI-related crash.

The drunk driver had been arrested six times before for driving under the influence, Grall said.

“The system let him go,” she said.

Grall told the audience that while work must be done to take on those large issues, they should not lose sight of the small steps they can take, by working with youth.

“We cannot stop,” Grall said. “We need to look at where we can make a difference.”

She said they need to work with at-risk children, providing a positive atmosphere and influence. Grall explained that messages in the media and video games give children the impression that death is not permanent.

“We are missing the boat,” she said, if children are not taught the difference between right and wrong and that there are consequences to their actions.

To end the vigil, Margie Ellis, from the State Attorney’s Office, sang “I believe I can fly” as butterflies were released and VFW Honor Guard Post 1139’s Ed Bagley played Taps.

“The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office is not only dedicated to reducing the amount of crime that occurs in our county, but we also realize the importance of having the resources and support available to victims of crime and their families,” Sheriff Deryl Loar said in a statement. “I am proud to support Victim’s Rights Week here in Indian River County.”

 Remembering those lost:

Nolan Adams

James Mitchell

Vonda Adams

Mark Moore

John Aleks

Gilberto Bautista Morales

Jessie Anderson

Benjamin Mosena

Adam Peter Arias

Robert Jude Nanni

Janie Bagley

Clara Nelson

Michael Barrett

Christopher “Buzzy” Norman

Chris Beecher

Brian O’Halloran

Cynthia A. Bigelow

Anthony Oliver III

Johnathan A. Booth, Jr.

Charles Owens

Matthew Bornoosh

Scott Owens

Victoria Baum Boyer

Subhash Patel

Munish I. Brahmbhutt

Connie Lynn Pease

Ashlee Burd

Marianne Perlick

Robert L. Cade

Alan Pfeifer

Sarah Campbell

Alonzia James Phillips

Larry Lee Cannon

Justin Travis Pooley

Bruce Michael Castro

Ben Pyeatt

Kendall Lamar Champion

Cpl. Richard Raczkoski

Katherine Clark

Chadley “Chad” Rhodes

Marilu Zaremba Cogswell

David Lamar Rice

Juruncius D. Crawford

Shawn Joseph Rodriquez

Nicole Damatt

Earl Francis Rompre III

Pamela Fox Dare

Marsha Ross

Illias “Louie” Diles

Kathleen Schmidt

Cynthia Ann Driggers

Norman Schmidt

Franklin Edward

Lynn Rose Schuler

Frances Edwards

Roy Scott Jr.

William Edwards

Jonathan Michael Selph

Richard J. Eisenmann, D.O.

Homer Venton Shaffer

Lynn Carol Elliott

Brion Steven Sheriff

Adrian DeVon Evans

Christine Smetzer

Ann Marie Fischer

Michael Smith

Rockee Flowers

Keenan Lyon-Stewart

Christine Franke

Ruth Edith Struck

Joann Lynette Gray

Fred Tamparo

Ross Grayam

John Torres

Angel Ann Halstead

John Traylor

Bijah Harris

Lynnette Tropf

Samuel Hernandez

Allen Turner

Baby Hope

Lindsay Turner

Zacharian Horskin

Steven Turner

Tariq Hussain

Tarmisha Ulissis

Pamela Jackson

David Umhoefer

Stephanie Jackson

Robin Valdes

Willie S. Jefferson

Fernando Vazquez

Billie Marie Jenkins

Rapheal Walden

Gregory Jones

Ronald Edward Warrior

Kathleen Kincaid

Lorie Lynn Webber

Ellen Klucinec

Tyrone James Weems Jr.

Kovan Aaron Knight

Taneka Wells

Dian Louise Laemer

Felicia White

Mary Lett

Margaret Wibe

Renada Talease Lucas

Mary Ellen Wise

Jeffery Glenn Mallory

Livingston Williams

Willette M. McLeod

Tellis C. Williams Jr.

Helen McPherson

Ian Williamson

Betty Metz

Charles Andrew Yaggie

Danita Metz

Richard Yarbrough

June Metz

Donna Zelno

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