Fresno County unveils crime victims' quilt

FRESNO, Calif.

17 new squares were added to the victims' memorial quilt. They represent people who have lost their lives because of a violent crime. Families say, it helps knowing their loved ones haven't been forgotten.

Nearly 500 people packed into Downtown Fresno's County Plaza Tuesday night. Together, they prayed and shared stories about the losses they each share.

Mindy Mercado said, "Knowing that things like this are done in remembrance of my son, it gives me the courage to keep moving forward."

Mindy Mercado's four-year-old son, Alex was killed in Mendota in October of 2009. Police later arrested a 14-year-old boy for the crime. Mindy and her family designed a quilt square for Alex.

Each family received a framed version of their square. Patricia Terry took home two, one for her uncle, Edward Gaines, who was murdered in 1990. And, another for her aunt, Roberta Gaines who died in 2008.

Patricia Terry said, "It's really hard. But knowing that people aren't forgetting. It makes it a little bit easier."

Another square added to the quilt, is that of Reedley Police officer Javier Bejar. He died last March after being shot in the line of duty. Clutching his picture, Javier's family offered some encouraging words to other families.

Maricela Bejar Chavez said, "Appreciate the now and appreciate the family that we have with us right now because our future, it's not certain."

There are now more than 400 square on the Fresno County crimes victims' quilt. The quilt dates back to 1994.

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