Home National Weather Nearly six years after her son’s Annapolis homicide, mother pursues justice through faith, awareness – Baltimore Sun

Nearly six years after her son’s Annapolis homicide, mother pursues justice through faith, awareness – Baltimore Sun

by DrewLUD
20 views


Last year, white doves flew around Charles Edward Carroll Jr.’s grave site as close family and friends gathered on the fifth anniversary of his killing. This year, his mother says it’ll be butterflies.

It’s “just to kind of send a message to him,” Beverly Reed said.

Reed has frequently visited her son’s Glen Burnie grave in the six years since he was gunned down in Annapolis, either tidying it up or just reflecting. She likes to relax and eat lunch there and have a conversation with him at the bench.

But she hasn’t been able to sit there and tell him that someone’s been held accountable for his death.

“I want to go to my son’s grave one day and be able to say ‘I did it. I got justice,’” Reed said.

Carroll, known to his family and friends as “CJ,” was 25 years old when he shot six times on July 28, 2016 while in his car on Royal Street, in the Bywater Mutual Homes community. Although he was living in Brooklyn at the time, homicide detectives believe he was caught in a dispute between the Newtowne 20 and Bywater neighborhoods. They suspect two men who are currently in prison for a separate homicide were responsible for the shooting.

The case has been presented to prosecutors multiple times over the past six years. Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said it’s stalled due to a lack of evidence. In 2020, the Annapolis Police Department’s new cold case unit took over the case.

It was raining the night Carroll was killed, making forensic evidence collection fairly difficult. While anonymous tipsters have come forward with information, Leitess said it’ll take more than just rumors. She said solving the case is a matter of people coming forward with what they know, and she hopes as time goes on, people will be more willing to come forward as loyalties change. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information on his death.

Reed meets with police and city officials from time to time to go over the case. She speaks to other parents of homicide victims and attends talks with the Weeping Mothers, an Annapolis collective of moms who have lost their children to violence or other sudden tragedies. She’s felt supported there, as she has been able to share her experiences and advice, like keeping in touch with detectives and raising awareness to prevent her son’s case from being cast aside.

Meeting with other victims’ families has helped. It’s also brought to the surface a mutual feeling that their sons and daughters are being forgotten, Reed said.

“We have to pray and have a relationship with God,” she said. “They have no voice. We have to be their voice.”

Reed likes to write poems and letters to her son and put them under the mattress in his room, which has been almost untouched since his death. He kept it clean and orderly, unlike his friends, who would poke fun at him for neatly folding his dirty clothes.

Breaking News Alerts

Breaking News Alerts

As it happens

Be informed of breaking news as it happens and notified about other don’t-miss content with our free news alerts.

“He was really a nerd,” Reed said.

Carroll was a new father in 2016 and had recently completed carpentry courses at Anne Arundel Community College, where he also got his high school diploma.

People would take to CJ easily, Reed said. The day he was killed, he went to an interview with a workforce development counselor to talk about his future, planning an HVAC career that he would have started in a few months. Weeks later, Reed met with the counselor.

“She did remember him,” Reed said. “She just met him an hour of his life, and she got to know his goals and what he wanted out of life.”

Reed hasn’t heard many developments in her son’s case in recent years. As the sixth anniversary of CJ’s death approaches, Reed wrote another poem in which she reflects on her son’s future that was taken away from him.

Despite the roadblocks and feeling cast aside, she said she isn’t giving up on the pursuit of justice for her son. Justice isn’t just about locking up those responsible for her son’s death, she said, it’s about being able to find closure, and holding them accountable, by having their name attached to the homicide.

Anyone with information about Carroll.’s death is encouraged to contact Annapolis cold case detectives at 410-268-9000. If a person wishes to remain anonymous, they can call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP, where a tip that leads to an arrest or indictment could be eligible for a cash reward.



Source link
Source: Baltimore Sun