REFERRING OFFICER: Columbus Division of Police Homicide Detective Jacqueline Brandt. Previously we were not revealing details about this case, including the name of the referring officer, for multiple reasons, such as the fact that the suspect was awaiting indictment by the grand jury and the fact that we did not want to disturb the family during their grief. Enough time has passed that the situation has changed.
When Talynn Key was in a gang in Los Angeles, there was an LAPD lieutenant who was always on him to leave the gang life behind and make something of himself. Years later, after he did exactly that--moved away from gangs and trouble, to Ohio, where he met and married the love of his life, Tacara--he always talked about the lieutenant.
"I never knew his name," Tacara says. "He just referred to him as 'the lieutenant.'"
So, when she heard a lieutenant from CPD was coming to her house with a check from Starfish donors...it took her breath away. A lieutenant. A sign.
When you talk to Tacara, she is one of the happiest, most positive people you could ever hope to meet. She's isn't dwelling on the fact that her beloved husband was gunned down in their home while their children were there. She focuses on how amazingly happy they were together. She doesn't focus on the years she was robbed of, but on the years she had with him.
When we first started to help Tacara and her family, she wanted to move from the home she shared with Talynn. It was too traumatic to think of going back, and we respected that. Christopher Hunnicut from IMPACT Community Action looked to getting the family new housing. As time passed, however, she realized that they had so many friends and memories there that they wanted to stay.
On the first day this Assignment came to us, one of the things Detective Brandt said Tacara needed help with was someone to clean up the crime scene. We had never dealt with this before, but fortunately called Bio-One Columbus, which also does things like rodent removal and mold remediation. We learned a lot from our new friend there, Mark Joslyn, who was patient, kind, and compassionate with us and with Tacara.
We did not know that such clean-ups typically cost $5,000-$10,000. There are various ways that they can be paid for, such as homeowners insurance, but when Mark heard of what we were trying to do for Tacara, he spoke to the owner of Bio-One, Tim Lockard, and they did the entire job for no cost. These are things that people usually don't think of until tragedy strikes, and we are very grateful that there are compassionate people like Mark and Tim doing these very necessary jobs.
Tacara had a number of challenges facing her in the days after her husband's murder that she has faced with grace. Those of us working with her have marveled at how well she's handling things that would frustrate people not dealing with the death of a loved one. For weeks after his death, she and their children were staying with a friend, but now, they're back in their home. Some of their utilities need to be transferred into her name, which of course costs money. In addition, she's been off work, so she lost her income in addition to his. She recently received her business degree and is now working with Chris from IMPACT to search for a new, better-paying job. (Yay!)
We ask for your donations for the Key family to help them after the death of their husband/father.