Balloon release to honor victims of violent crimes

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 22, 2015) - A balloon release Wednesday afternoon will honor victims of violent crimes. The Marion County Prosecutor's Office organized the event in connection with National Crime Victims' Rights Week.  Each balloon will represent the victims and families the Prosecutor's Office represents each year.

Debra Watson, the mother of murder victim Thomas "DJ" Keys, will join city officials for a brief ceremony outside the City Market at noon prior to the balloon release.   Prosecutor Terry Curry said that while his office typically focuses on the defendants in a case, he also feels showing support to the victims and families is essential.

"When these crimes are committed there are individuals whose lives are changed forever," Curry said.

Curry also said that parents who lose a child to violence must go through a healing process.

"We have to have those meetings way too often," Curry said. "We make an effort to guide them  to services to help them through the grief process and deal with the trauma they’ve experienced.  And, to assure them that we will do everything we can to make sure justice is done on behalf of their loved one."

Wednesday's event will begin with agencies setting up informational booths to let people know about the resources available in Indianapolis to crime victims.

"We are a community rich with resources but only one of ten individuals who experiences crime nationally as well as in Indianapolis is going to reach out for help." said Michael Hurst, executive director of Legacy House. "It's either because they’re not ready for help or they don’t know help exists."

The balloon release will follow a short presentation at noon at the Indianapolis City Market outdoor plaza.