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PNS Daily Newscast - November 19, 2018. 


More than 1,200 missing in the California wildfires. Also on the Monday rundown: A pair of reports on gun violence in the nation; and concerns that proposed changes to 'Green Card' rules favor the wealthy.

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As MO Homicide Rate Rises, Victim's Mom Helps Grieving Families

After her son's death in 2013, Michelle Metje co-founded Corey's Network to provide supports for families of murder victims in the Kansas City metro area. (Corey's Network)
After her son's death in 2013, Michelle Metje co-founded Corey's Network to provide supports for families of murder victims in the Kansas City metro area. (Corey's Network)
June 22, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Michelle Metje had been a social worker for 25 years, but it wasn't until her son was murdered in 2013 that she discovered how few resources are available to families of homicide victims. Now, she's helping grieving families in her son's name.

Corey's Network offers counseling, advocacy and help with funeral expenses to families of homicide victims in the Kansas City metro area. Metje, who co-founded the network, said there's been a big need - and they're finding ways to fill it.

"We've already hit 65 homicides in Kansas City, the city itself. And of those, we've already helped 34 families bury their loved ones,” Metje said.

Her son, Corey Laykovich, was stabbed to death near his home in Independence, Mo. She then learned that victim advocates aren't assigned to families until someone is charged with a crime. That meant her family didn't qualify for support for more than three years - when her son's alleged killer was arrested.

Metje said families in some cases can't afford to have a funeral home pick up the victim's body from the morgue - compounding the stress of an already tragic situation. She likened the grief to a 500-pound weight.

"And you might drag it, you might put it in a wagon and eventually, you put it on your shoulders. The weight never changes - you do,” she said.

The current murder rate in Kansas City is on par with 2016 - one of the deadliest years in recent memory. Childhood trauma and easy access to guns have been cited as primary factors.

Kevin Patrick Allen/Cynthia Howard, Public News Service - MO