Jackson family uses daughter’s murder as fuel to help other homicide survivors ahead of the holidays
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - After losing their oldest daughter to a killing in the Capital City, one local family is keeping her memory alive by helping families of homicide victims.
Her alleged killer, Terrance Young, is a repeat offender and was also her boyfriend at the time’s brother. Young is currently being held at the Raymond Detention Center and hasn’t yet gone before the grand jury.
The Banyard family isn’t letting her murder keep themselves or others from having a happy holiday season.
“I know Kaylin is looking down and that she’s happy,” said long-time friend Savannah Kelly. “That’s all we wanted was just to make her proud.”
It’s been nearly five months since Kaylin was killed off of Terry Road, but this week was one of the hardest for those closest to her as they celebrated her 22nd birthday and Thanksgiving without her.
“I just remember this time last year on her birthday and all the laughter and the joy that she was feeling,” Kelly said. “She was a very upbeat and sweet person.”
However, the one thing that helped pull them through was hosting a toy drive in Kaylin’s name, with all donations going to those who’ve also lost someone to gun violence.
Kaylin’s parents, Spurgeon and Katrina Banyard said collecting donations has been a great experience all-around.
“We want all kids to wake up on Christmas Day getting some of the things that are going to put a smile on their face,” Spurgeon said. “It’s therapeutic for us, and it’s also helping other people.”
“I did not realize the magnitude of connection or the magnitude of joy that I would receive from speaking to people who are in the same position as I am,” Katrina said.
Kaylin’s family and friends say everyone who knew her knows that she had a deep connection with children.
“Her personality fit very well with kids,” Kelly said. “They say kids are drawn to sweet-hearted people, and they were definitely drawn to her.”
Kaylin’s younger sister, Taylor, added that she had a very giving spirit.
“I’m pretty sure if she was here, she would be bringing in the most toys,” she said.
With over $2,000 in monetary donations and a variety of toys, the Banyards hope to make Christmas special for about fifty kids.
“We’ve just been overwhelmed with cash donations and with people bringing toys up here for this occasion,” Spurgeon said.
For the children they can’t help this holiday season, they hope to get to in the coming years.
“For our daughter, Kaylin, we’re going to make it an annual event,” Spurgeon said.
The Banyards will continue accepting donations through December 10th, with disbursements being made to families on December 17th. They could use the public’s help identifying those in the community who’ve lost loved ones to gun violence and would benefit from donations.
If you’d like to make donations, contact Jatonda Baggett at 601-709-6029 or Beverly Baggett at 601-850-3606.
Toys and donations may also be dropped off or mailed to Foundation First Development Center at 3878 Terry Road Jackson, MS 39212.
Cash App donations may be sent to $katrinabanyard.
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