Meridian, Miss. The mother of a local violent crime victim is making a plea to the public. Irma Jean Laniear's son was killed during a carjacking last month in Meridian. The murder happened June 21st in the 1800 block of 21st Court.
Courtney Laniear was in a truck with his cousin when they were both shot and carjacked. When the culprits left the scene, Courtney - who suffered a fatal wound - was still inside the vehicle. About an hour later he was found dead inside the abandoned truck at a different location.
It's now a month after the crime, and Irma Laniear says she can't start the healing process because her son has still not been laid to rest.
"They killed my son, and paralyzed my nephew," she said. "It has been so hard for me to get the money to try to bury my son."
That's why Laniear says she felt that she had no other choice but to make a desperate plea to the public for help in laying her son to rest.
According to Laniear, her 24-year-old son was not the target in the carjacking which resulted in his death. Still grieving, she says her family feels in despair because they do not have the money needed to bury Courtney.
"My people are helping, but we still need more help. It hurts me so bad knowing that he's laying over there in the funeral home," said Laniear. "He's been laying over there a month now, and it hurts me so bad. I can't eat. I can't hardly sleep; I turn at night. It hurts me so bad!"
Reflecting on recent violent crimes within the city, such as the one which claimed the life of her son, Laniear is also making another plea to the public.
"They need to just stop what they're doing, and try to love each other," she said. "Stop all of this killing. Put them guns down!"
With hopes that another person does not have to face what she's facing, Laniear says any assistance that can be offered to help lay her son to rest will be greatly appreciated.
"All I need is for someone to just help me; help me bury my baby. Help put my baby to rest. That's all I want them to do. Please help me," she said.
On July 30th a friend of the Laniear family is planning to sponsor a fish fry to raise money. At this time, further arrangements regarding that fundraiser have not yet been set. Meanwhile, Berry and Gardner Funeral Home in Meridian is currently set to handle the burial arrangements.