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Canada Father of murdered Sackville boy baffled after memorial dismantled

03:06  04 march  2018
03:06  04 march  2018 Source:   globalnews.ca

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The father of a 12-year-old boy murdered in Sackville in 1995 says he can’t comprehend why a memorial playground dedicated to his late son was dismantled without any notification. “I think it was very disrespectful and it hurt,” said Larry Mills Sr. from his Fredericton home.

The father of a 12-year-old boy murdered in Sackville in 1995 says he can’t comprehend why a memorial playground dedicated to his late son was dismantled without any notification. Morganne Campbell reports.

Larry Mills Jr. and his mother were killed in 1995. His family is hoping a memorial dedicated to the 12-year-old will be reinstated at his former school.© Supplied Larry Mills Jr. and his mother were killed in 1995. His family is hoping a memorial dedicated to the 12-year-old will be reinstated at his former school.

The father of a 12-year-old boy murdered in Sackville in 1995 says he can't comprehend why a memorial playground dedicated to his late son was dismantled without any notification.

"I think it was very disrespectful and it hurt," said Larry Mills Sr. from his Fredericton home. "Then all of the sudden, the hurt turned to anger and I said, 'I guess there's going to have to be something done.'"

12-year-old Larry Mills Jr. and his mother were murdered in their home in 1995 in a shocking and violent crime that shattered the small community.

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Following the murders, staff and students at Marshview Middle School decided to build a memorial playground and dedicated it to the Grade 7 student and his mother.

The school used to have a memorial plaque, but it's now with Mills. He says sometime in the past 12 years, the play structure was torn down and the plaque removed and stored in the basement of the school until a member of the Mills family discovered it was missing.

The school's principal has reassured the Mills family and friends that the school will move to address the situation.

"They're going to make this right and I'm very happy because I know once it's all said and done, my young fellow is going to be smiling from ear-to-ear," said Mills, who remembers his son as a boy who had a smile for anyone he crossed paths with. "He loved life — he absolutely loved life."

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Larry Mills Jr. was a Grade 7 student at Marshview Middle School in Sackville in 1995, when he and his mother were murdered in their home. Mills ended up with the plaque after the play structure was dismantled — but only by chance.

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Donnie Steeves was Larry Jr.'s best friend and spent countless days raising the $15,000 needed to build the park.

"I can't believe a memorial would just be taken and put aside," Steeves said. "I mean, to me it doesn't sound right at all. I don't understand how anyone in any establishment could have done that."

Mills says he will do whatever it takes to make sure his son's memory doesn't fade with time, especially at the school where Larry Jr. loved to be.

"His friends, his classmates, his family — he'll never be forgotten."

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