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Crime Victims Remembered

The sound of bells rang through the air at Yucca Park in East El Paso on Sunday afternoon.

While the sound of bells is pleasant to many, this was less sweet and more bittersweet.

More than 1,000 people’s names were read aloud — recognition appreciated — but hard to handle as each is being recognized as a crime victim.

“So when they walk up and they give their condolences and say, ‘I understand,’ they truly do understand,” said Marcia Wheatley Fulton.

Wheatley Fulton knows better than most, she’s been attending the Crime Victims’ Memorial Events in El Paso for years. Her daughter, Desiree, was murdered in 1987. Her murderer, David Leonard Wood, remains alive thanks to a lenghty appeals process.

“It took a long time to be able to think of Desiree and smile, instead of thinking of her and crying,” said Wheatley Fulton. “It took a long time for that.”

As Wheatley Fulton discussed her own daughter more than one hundred names were called out. That included the sister, and niece, of Stephanie Martinez. She stood with her family holding a sign with the names Claudia and Melanie written on it.

Martinez said she has a lot on her mind.

“All the times we’ve been together, and just that day that it all happened,” said Martinez. “It was horrible.”

Those involved with the memorial service said it’s great to have an outlet. Yucca park recently unveiled a crime victims’ memorial, so while today’s even gave them a chance to mourn together, moving forward they will have the opportunity to do so every day.

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