Ride for missing people, crime victims benefits Justice Coalition

By Marques White - Reporter, Jason Mealey - Producer/assignment editor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Friends, family and supporters of people who are missing or were victims of crime gathered Saturday for the 50-mile Celebrate America Ride for Justice. 

Many of the people who gathered were looking for comfort, while others were looking for answers since their loved one's killer is still at large. More were there to support the Justice Coalition, a grass-roots organization seeking rights for victims in the criminal justice system.

The 10th-annual ride started at Adamec Harley-Davidson on Baymeadows Road and went 50 miles through the city.

Those who love Jaquon Reeves came out to remember him. The First Coast High School football player was shot and killed at Sheffield Park last month. Police are still searching for his killer.

"It's been hard. It's hard losing a child. No one can really know the feeling. Only if you've lost a child. But it's really hard losing a child," said Leterice Reeves.

Reeves says her life hasn't been the same without her son.

Life hasn't been the same for other families who gathered either. Some people have loved ones who have been missing for years. Others have helped put together rewards so a killer can be caught.

Brandon Blansit was stabbed to death in Green Cove Springs in 2014. It hasn't been easy for Blansit's mother, sister or Blansit's two children, even though his killer was arrested.

"We miss him. He was just so funny and such a big part of our life," siad Blansit's mother Andrea Crutchfield. "We talk about him everyday. We miss him. When somebody commits an act of violence they're not just killing the person that's the victim. They leave all these people, grandparents, kids, relatives and friends in mourning. It's something that we'll never get over. We'll never get over it."

People who came out said the Justice Coalition is an important part of their lives.

"It sucks to know that other people are going through the same thing. But it's comforting to know you're not the only one. It's nice to be here for each other," said Madison Crutchfield, Blansit's sister.

Organizers say they hoped the ride would raise thousands of dollars.


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