SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — News 8 has an update on a story we first brought you last week about a homeless former Marine killed in a hit-and-run accident. Deryck Bacon's widow reached out for help because she wanted her husband buried with honor.
And several San Diego groups answered the call.
When News 8 shared the story of Bacon - a 59-year-old homeless veteran who'd been killed - the circumstances surrounding his death struck a chord within the community.
"This one was a particularly tragic story," said Michael McConnell, a homeless advocate in the San Diego area. "As it turns out, he's a veteran and [he was] just innocently sleeping on the sidewalk because he has no place to call home."
McConnell said he knew he wanted to help after learning Bacon's wife wasn't able to give him a proper burial.
"The least - the very least - we can do is make sure these folks have a proper send-off after what they've done for us," said McConnell.
And he wasn't the only one who felt that way.
"We both immediately said 'What can we do to help this person?'" said Rex Kern the director of the Miramar National Cemetery. "We saw the family begging for a burial - a decent burial - but didn't know how to contact anybody."
That's when Kern teamed up with News 8 to verify Bacon's service to see if he qualified for a military funeral with honors.
"He was in the United States Marine Corps. and he was discharged on a medical discharge," said Kern.
Bacon's common law wife previously talked with News 8 about him being honorably discharged due to a diagnosis of schizophrenia.
"He didn't want to take his medication and that was the beginning of the end," Karen Castro said.
The driver, Marie Salomon, who allegedly hit Bacon also hit two parked cars before fleeing the scene.
Salomon was interviewed by police and News 8 learned Tuesday that she and her passenger that night have now been charged.
While no one can change the way this veteran's life ended, plans are now in the works to give Bacon the funeral he deserves. Greenwood Memorial Park is helping with funeral arrangements and some of the costs, while McConnell has offered to pay for any extra burial costs for a service at Miramar.
"When it comes to this time we don't want them to end up some place in a pauper's gravesite somewhere," said Kern. "We want to bury them with honor, dignity and respect here at Miramar National Cemetery."
The San Diego Humane Society on Thursday deployed its emergency response team to Butte County to assist in animal rescues as the Camp Fire continues to devastate Northern California.
Aided by diminishing winds, fire crews expanded the containment line around the deadly Woolsey Fire Thursday, while more evacuation orders were lifted and a firefighter was hospitalized after being run over by a vehicle while sleeping.
Each week, the News 8 Crimefighters help authorities in looking for fugitives in San Diego. This week’s fugitive is: Jennifer Michelle Kidd
Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century, as the search went on for more bodies. At least 56 people were killed and 300 were unaccounted for a week after the flames swept through.
The strong winds we saw this week left a mess in some parts of the county - including at a very special horse-riding facility in Ramona.
Five nurses from Scripps Health, who are part of a medical response team, are traveling to Northern California to care for the people affected by the Camp Fire.
A transient accused of repeatedly burglarizing the office of a South Bay community group before torching the premises last week pleaded not guilty Thursday to a slew of charges including arson of a structure, grand theft and burglary.
A 52-year-old professional photographer was arrested this week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl during a modeling session in Carlsbad, authorities reported Thursday.