River of Remembrance ceremony honors murder victims - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

River of Remembrance ceremony honors murder victims

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Dozens of people whose loved ones were victims of murder gathered Saturday for a remembrance ceremony.

The annual event took place at a special garden which was dedicated to one of those victims -- Cara Knott.

She was killed by a CHP officer in 1986.

Saturday, others had a chance to share their stories of loss.

Even just a glimpse of her son's picture, brings Connie Meza to tears.

"I miss my son dearly...every single day" she said.

Sonny Carrillo was stabbed to death two years ago by a man who's still on the run.

While Connie says the pain hasn't faded -- being with others who know what she's going through is a good place to start.

"We all carry the same pain. They're all very understanding and tell you what you wanna hear."

Connie was among a few dozen people Saturday who shared their stories of loss at the Crime Victims Oak Garden, located underneath Interstate 15.

It was here, where in 1986, Cara Knott, a 20-year-old San Diego resident was strangled by a CHP officer who had pulled her over.

Years later, her father planted trees in this area as a peaceful place for others to grieve.

"Thanks to the Cara Knott Foundation and Oak Garden, we have been allowed to come here year after year and just celebrate our loved ones lives."

The annual event is planned around National Week of Remembrance for Murder Victims.

People are encouraged to paint rocks and T-shirts, placing them next to others which bare the names of those who have died.

Billijo Pentico has been coming here since 2006, the year her best friend Tori and her 10-month-old son, Dean were killed by his father.

"It helps us grow as a group that's been grieving," Pentico said.

A process she says will never end but through events like these has become much easier.

"It also gives people a support system...someone who understands."

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