Church Pays Tribute To Missing And Murdered Victims

Saturday, November 17th 2007, 5:29 pm
By: News On 6

The family of 13-year-old Cori Baker and others in Green Country gathered at an East Tulsa Church Saturday to pay tribute to missing and murdered victims. The annual vigil also helps families cope with their loss. The News On 6’s Chris Wright reports few can imagine enduring what the Bakers have this week after finding out that 13-year-old Cori was allegedly abducted and murdered. But Saturday’s vigil was full of people who know exactly what they're going through.

"It's been comforting. You hear about this stuff all the time on TV and in the papers, you feel sorry for those people, but when it hits you it hits right at home, what other people are going through," said Lydia Knuckoles, Cori Baker’s grandmother.

If anyone can empathize with Lydia Knuckholes, it's the people who gathered on Saturday afternoon at Town and Country Church located at 1055 N. Garnett.

"But until you've been there, you can't even imagine," said Sheila Owen, Latricia Fipps Mother.

Sheila Owen started the annual vigil after her daughter disappeared five years ago. At first, only her family members showed up, but the event has grown each year.

"I feel like I'm helping them, and they're helping me, and we can all be here to help each other," said mother of a missing person Sheila Owen.

This is the first year Angie Pitts has attended. Her sister Tina went missing last year.

"Everybody here is going through the same pain. Someone is missing in their family, someone was murdered in their family, someone isn't here today," said Angie Pitts, Tina Pitts's Sister.

Instead of candles, this vigil featured balloons. Family members filled up dozens of them, then attached notes addressed to their loved ones and they sent them skyward. Many of the families described releasing the balloons as therapeutic, but also said they represented hope, the hope their mothers, daughters and sisters will one day be found.

It's a hope shared by Lydia Knuckoles.

"We're not going to give up. Whether it takes years, we're not going to give up. We're going to keep searching and praying that we find her," said Lydia Knuckoles, Cori Baker’s grandmother.

Besides sharing their grief, the families also shared phone numbers and e-mails. Many promised to stay in touch, and constantly offer support to one another.

Related stories:

1/17/2007 Desperate For Answers About Two Missing Women

11/2/2007 The Search For A Missing Mother

11/12/2007 Search On For Missing Teen

11/13/07 Police Make An Arrest In Disappearance Of Missing Teen

11/13/2007 Search For Missing Girl To Resume Wednesday Morning

11/14/2007 Search For Missing 13-Year-Old Continues

11/14/2007 Sister Of Missing Girl Pleads For Help

11/15/2007 Family Of Missing Teen Holds Vigil

11/16/2007 Volunteers Search For Missing Teen

11/16/2007 Teammates To Honor Cori Baker

11/17/2007 Cori Baker's Team Honors Her As The Search Continues