In January 2016, Christoper Byron Sandle Jr. was shot and killed just three days after his 20th birthday at his Hamilton home. His mother, Rebecca Sandle, and family were left to pick up the pieces.
One outreach from the community was a “Zumbathon” fundraiser to raise reward money with the hope it would generate tips and help solve “CJ” Sandle’s homicide.
The case remains unsolved more than two years later, but that hasn’t stopped Rebecca Sandle from reaching out to the newest family suffering a violent loss. Shon Walker, 19, was shot point-blank on an East Avenue sidewalk in Hamilton on the night of June 27.
Sandle, a Zumba instructor, will lead a “Zumbathon” fundraiser on Saturday with all proceeds going to the Walker family.
“Nobody is prepared to pay for these funerals, because who is prepared to bury a child?” Sandle said. “It has of course dredged everything up for me, but helping and not letting people forget it keeps me going.”
The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. at Hamilton Christian Center on Millville Avenue in Hamilton. Sandle will be leading 40-minute sessions. There is a suggested donation of $10 at the door, but Sandle said all are welcome even if they are not participating in the exercise sessions. There will also be raffles.
Sandle said she continues to urge anyone with information about either homicide to come forward.
“I don’t have any proof these are related, but what if they are? What if someone coming forward and giving that information could have meant that one of these lives could have been saved because the murder is off the street?” Sandle said.
“Everything is OK, until it is you … it doesn’t just effect those people who make a silly decision, the whole family, they are left here to grieve.”
Dakota Denton, Walker’s sister, said her brother loved music, being outdoors and his family. He had been working a short time at Frisch’s Big Boy on Princeton Road when he was killed, but he made an impact on coworkers.
“They thought so much of him they had a fundraiser,” Denton said. “He was positivity and light when he came into the room.”
The Hamilton Police Department is working actively to make an arrest in Walker’s case, officials said.
“We are confident they will get justice for my brother,” Denton said.
Walker’s homicide is the second of 2019 in Hamilton. On Jan. 26, 18-year-old Londale Harvey was gunned down while getting into his car in the city’s Lindenwald neighborhood. Like Walker’s death, police say Harvey’s slaying was not a random act.
Early Friday morning, a 16 year-old boy was struck in the leg when multiple shots were fired at him in the 300 block of East Avenue, just a block away from where Walker was shot. Hamilton police say the incident is under investigation.
Anyone with information about the homicides is asked to call the Hamilton investigation section at 868-5811 ext 2002.
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