Reporting Anjali Hemphill
RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) – The parents of young murder victims gathered in Rancho Cordova to fight for a common cause. They gathered with police and social workers to find a way to protect other children becoming victims.
Over 100 families came to remember their missing and murdered children and to take action to prevent child homicide. But for one family, this event is bittersweet.
“She’s been dead now longer than she was alive and that’s hard for me to swallow,” said Mark Sconce.
Mark and Cindy Sconce’s daughter, Courtney, was raped and murdered more than 10 years ago, but dealing with the pain hasn’t gotten any easier.
“We try to go about our daily business like everything is fine, but that little piece of your heart is always broken,” said Cindy.
Twelve-year-year old Courtney disappeared from her Rancho Cordova neighborhood in 2000. Her body was found two hours later on the banks of the Feather River.
“We are considered one of the lucky ones,” said Cindy. “We knew where Courtney was within 12 hours.”
Some families at tonight’s event are still searching for their missing children or hope police find their killers. The Sconces can relate to that agonizing feeling. Several months went by before police arrested then 20-year-old Justin Weinberger for Courtney’s murder.
“It really makes me mad that we have to do stuff like this — that we have to rip that scab off again just to get people to pay attention,” said Cindy.
And that’s why the Sconces attended tonight’s event. They want more to be done to protect children, even if it means reliving their pain.
“We would have loved to see her grow up as we did our other two kids and that’s not possible,” said Mark. “We put our daughter to rest. Closure? We’ll never not miss her.”
They hope the event continues to draw attention to the importance of protecting children and creating laws that properly punish the criminals.
The summit, which has drawn advocacy groups throughout the country, lasts throughout the weekend.