DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — A Decatur mother has a message for the community after her son was brutally murdered: Stop the violence.
Family and friends released hundreds of balloons on Monday to honor 15-year-old Tyler Eubanks, who was stabbed to death on Sunday.
“This is a nightmare I wish I could wake up from,” said Dionica Eubanks, Tyler’s mother. “That smile right there, I’ll never get the chance to see it again.”
It was an agonizing cry for a mother’s baby boy gone too soon.
“Never in a million years would I ever think in my life that that would be my son,” said Eubanks.
She said her son was kind, funny, goofy and loved playing basketball and video games.
“He had not come home, Eubanks said. “That’s not like him so I started getting worried.”
Decatur Police Chief Shane Brandel said police were called for a wellness check at an abandoned building on the 400 Block of West Harrison. When they got there, they found Tyler stabbed to death. Police believe at least two other 15-year-olds planned out Tyler’s murder and lured him to the building.
“The whole time, I was looking for my baby,” Eubanks said. “He was right here. He was right here,” Eubanks said.
Police arrested two suspects, but the Eubanks are left with the question, “Why did this happen?” Chief Brandel wants to know the same thing.
“It’s really sad and I can’t even comprehend it,” Brandel said.
Brandel said he has dealt with dozens of murder investigations involving children, but this one felt different. Especially because he said the suspects weren’t known to be involved in gun violence.
“Which is really kinda interesting to us,” Brandel said. “I guess to go where they were at, to go where they went to a pretty brutal murder, is really shocking.”
So while dozens of people gathered at the site where Eubanks son was murdered, with balloons in hand, they listened to her plea.
“We have got to get this city together, because if we don’t, we’re going to keep burying our babies,” Eubanks said. “We’re going to keep burying them y’all. The cemetery is going to overflow.”
She begged for parents to know where their kids are and who they hang out with. She also asked that the young men drop the weapons and stop all the fighting and arguing. And after lots of prayers and tears, they all released hundreds of balloons in Tyler’s memory, hoping that soon, they will have answers.
The Eubanks are asking for any donation, big or small, to help pay for funeral expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.