Local News

Service, Tombstone Honor Domestic Violence Victim

Posted October 1, 2007 12:57 p.m. EDT
Updated October 1, 2007 4:59 p.m. EDT

— A Miami woman on Monday unveiled a gravestone and held a memorial service for her mother, whom an abusive husband killed nearly 33 years ago.

Christine Horne said the memorial for Beryl Lorraine Mitchell was an appropriate way to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

"It's been wonderful to honor her life and give her the memorial she deserved," Horne said.

Mitchell was fatally stabbed on Dec. 1, 1974, inside a car on Fort Bragg. Army Capt. Richard Mitchell was convicted in the slaying and served 12 years in prison.

Horne was 9 when her mother was killed, and she said for years she didn't forgive her mother for not leaving an abusive relationship.

"It stayed in the back of my mind, and it affected every area of my life because I realized that I wasn't able to forgive my mom," she said, adding that she forgave her father years ago.

She organized a memorial service at Sullivan Funeral Chapel to honor her mother. After the service, a funeral procession headed to Lafayette Memorial Park, where bagpipes played and family and friends dedicated a marker for Mitchell's grave.

"It's absolutely healing," Horne said. "There's never closure on survivors of violent acts."