Chicago/ Family & Kids
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Published on January 29, 2024
Family of Massacre Victims in Joliet Honored Amidst Tears and Gospel TunesSource: GoFundMe

Grieving relatives and friends congregated in Joliet, Illinois, to honor a family nearly obliterated by an incomprehensible act of violence. At a vigil held Sunday, Cara Esters, one of the last surviving members of a family decimated in a massacre, reflected on the immeasurable loss her family sustained, remembering them not for the tragedy that befell them but for their "love and laughter." This announcement of resilience followed the horrific events of January 21, when Romeo Nance, 23, allegedly murdered seven relatives and another man before taking his own life, according to ABC7 Chicago.

In an emotional meeting marked by tears and gospel music, dozens came together where memories of family gatherings and holiday celebrations echoed silently through the streets. Speaking to the crowd, Cara Esters declared, "This tragedy does not define our family," a statement filled with an unwavering spirit obtained by ABC7 Chicago. The home on West Acres Road had rapidly transformed into a solemn monument to lives senselessly lost.

While attendees grieved, Cara detailed the contributions and character of each family member; her brother William Esters had been a budding entrepreneur with his security firm, and her sister Christine worked with the Illinois Department of Corrections. Their mother, Tameka Nance, provided care as a dedicated nurse. 

As black and white balloons lifted toward the heavens, family friend Latisha Fox read the names of the slain. Pastor Kenneth Coleman took the stage, leading the gathering in prayer, acknowledging the great loss "to all of us," while underscoring the community's newfound resolve, "learning to love each other even more," the Chicago Tribune says

As the Nance and Esters family grapple with the financial realities in the aftermath of this tragedy, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help alleviate the burden, a show of support that Cara Esters remarked on in a statement: "As we traverse this challenging time, it brings us some comfort to witness how loved our family members are." The fundraiser had garnered a modest $3,500 by Sunday evening, marking the beginning of what is to be a long road to healing, according to ABC7 Chicago