YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Carrie Weaver kept her two sons’ ashes in cardboard boxes on the shelf because she couldn’t afford to bury them. When Rev. Lewis Macklin of the Holy Trinity Baptist Church heard her story, he knew he had to help.
Weaver’s sons, Rashad and Devon Bailey, were murdered within six months of each other in 2015.
Following their untimely deaths, she applied to the Victims of Crime Compensation Fund to give them a proper burial. But the state only gave her $150, making the grieving process so much more difficult.
“I just felt their pain, it just moved me. Again, just seeing the visual of two gentlemen in their cardboard boxes and knowing that that was a matter of need, and when you see a need, you respond,” Macklin said.
He called James Washington, President of the J.E. Washington Funeral Services. It was a phone call that instantly touched him and his staff.
“We came to the conclusion that we would donate a companion urn so the brothers could be together forever,” Washington said.
Macklin and Washington gave it to Weaver on Friday. She was extremely grateful.
“I just really appreciate what they did for me,” she said. “It made me feel really good. Me and the rest of my sons.”
Macklin said his ultimate goal was to give the Weaver family peace this holiday season.
“If you’re talking about goodwill and peace on earth, people need to have peace and I wanted this family to experience that and a sense of relief as well. Particularly since the state wasn’t responsive in helping to underwrite some of the expenses that occurred.”
In a 27 Investigates piece on the Victims of Crime Compensation Fund, WKBN found that black applicants are turned down almost twice as often as white applicants. WKBN is continuing to dig deeper into this story, and we’re expanding our investigation to the entire state.