Families of murder victims find comfort in National Day of Remembrance

September 25, 2013, by Eric Burke
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Today is a summer day for thousands of people across the metro. It was also a National Day of Remembrance for murder victims. But many families will also tell you it’s a special day — one to honor those that lost.

Six and a half years ago Chris Bartholomew was shot and killed near the intersection of 39th and Broadway. He had come to pick up friends from Westport. His death devastated his mother, but she’s been able to get through the past few years because of other families who have experienced a similar loss.

“My life stopped that day,” Misty Kirwan, mother, said. “Life as I knew it stopped that day. The National Day of Remembrance helps other people realize we’re still here.”

Kirwan tries to stay strong, but nearly seven years after her son was killed she still has bad days.

“There are some days when I don’t want to get out of bed, and I can call one of my friends that have been through this,” she said. “I just talk or cry and they really understand.”

One of the people she calls is Maria Martinez. Her brother Sam Mandacina was shot and killed in 2011. Sam managed a Northland convenience store. He offered to work a Sunday night shift for one of his employees. About 7 o’clock that night a 16-year-old walked in and shot Sam several times killing him and changing his family’s life forever.

“You instantly become so close to them because this tragic incident builds a special bond, and without them I don’t know where I’d be,” Martinez said.

Both women and their families are surviving one day at a time thanks to each other. Both think about their loved ones daily especially on this National Day of Remembrance for murder victims.

DAVID R. NINEMIRE -Unsolved Homicide




Johnson County Sheriff’s Office: Can you help us spread the word on one of our cold cases? Please share this if you can.

We are again increasing efforts to find the person behind the murder of David “Ray” Ninemire. Teams of our detectives are pouring over new and old leads and talking with everyone who may have some information that would assist them in finding the person who murdered Ray.

August 15 marks the 10 year anniversary of his murder. He was shot and killed during a robbery inside the Westwood Apple Market by an unknown suspect August 15, 2003 at about 6 a.m. The description of the suspect provided to investigators at the time was a person wearing a disguise.

There is a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for Ray’s murder. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the TIPS Hotline 816-474-TIPS or the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 913-715-5560.

Here is more information about his murder http://www.jocosheriff.org/index.aspx?page=189

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Nathan Buie & DeMarco Harvey

DeMarco Harvey

DeMarco Harvey

Nathan Buie Jr

On July 23rd, 2006, just after 1:00 in the morning, Kansas City, Missouri police officers were investigating a traffic accident at 82nd Terrace and Wornall as a party was breaking up at a nearby fraternal lodge meeting hall.  As the crowd came out to the parking lot a fight erupted between two groups affiliated with Ruskin and Hickman Mills High Schools.  It apparently involved an ongoing dispute.

Suddenly several shots were fired from within the crowd.  As police rushed toward the scene, the crowd scattered, running for safety.  Police found Nathan Buie and DeMarco Harvey, both 20 years old, on the ground, suffering from mortal gunshot wounds.  From all accounts neither man was involved in the fight and were college students and innocent victims.  Several other people received non-life threatening wounds.

Police found several empty shell casings of various calibers and two guns at the scene.  It was obvious that several people in the crowd had fired guns.  As is often the case in these situations, however, police found it difficult to get witnesses to cooperate and the case remains unsolved.

A cash reward is awaiting the caller whose information leads to an arrest in this double murder case.

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