Shirley and Robert Nickens, whose son Darius’s shooting death in Dowagiac last April 13 was the subject of a murder trial last week, placed a flower in his memory during the Victims Rights Week service Thursday noon.

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78 victims remembered

Published 9:19pm Thursday, April 26, 2012

CASSOPOLIS — Remembering 78 victims who lost their lives to violent crime in Cass County since 1989, Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz encouraged their loved ones to observe a day of “somberness and sadness” by “also thinking about the joy they brought you during the course of their lives.”
“It’s important to remember more than the tragedy and loss,” he said.
“Their birth, their first step, the first day of school, graduation from high school, sporting events or just a kind word or gesture. Perhaps you can leave with a  silent smile.”
“Pain doesn’t go away in a moment. It really doesn’t go away in a lifetime,” Fitz said to the throng assembled at the memorial stone by the flagpole in front of the 2004 Law and Courts Building on M-62 where a tulip was placed for each person.
Sheriff Joe Underwood laid a flower for Deputy Shane Britton, killed July 19, 2001, responding to a domestic violence call.
“We know we have people here today whose cases are still unsolved and await justice uncertainly for the law enforcement community to bring things to a successful conclusion,” Fitz said, such as family members who attended for John and Carolyn Tarwacki Jr., murdered Feb. 5, 2010, in Howard Township.
“Our officials understand the pain you have,” Fitz said, introducing various officials — judges, prosecutors, county commissioners and other elected county officers, the directors of the Department of Human Services and CASA and Dowagiac’s police and fire chiefs.

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