Sister of murder victim gives birth on anniversary of tragedy - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Sister of murder victim gives birth on anniversary of tragedy

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Baby Owen Baby Owen
PHOENIX -

A vibrant, precious life cut short in a hail of bullets nearly 10 years ago.

Judy Chainhalt lost her daughter Lynsey in a horrific case of road rage.

Her killers were never caught but her family never gives up trying.

"We're her advocates and well never stop doing that," Judy Chainhalt said. "These guys need to be caught, they can hide in other countries, who knows how long that will take, but I'll never stop.                        

June 14, 2003, as a 20-year-old Lynsey Chainhalt drove friends home late one Summer evening, an altercation with the driver of a black SUV ended in a North Phoenix neighborhood, where she had driven to try to get away.
      
June 14 was the darkest of days for the family.  

A day that pulls Lynsey's mom, Judy, and Lynsey's sister, Lacey Cox, back into the darkness every single year since then, until now.    

Lynsey's younger sister, Lacey, had a second child named Owen.

She and husband Austin have another son Caleb.

But it was the due date of Owen that caused her to stop and think.
 
She was initially due June 21, seven days after the anniversary Lynsey was murdered in 2003.

"I just wondered if I could ignore the fact that it was so close to the 14th," Lacey said.

What if, Lacey wondered, she could have her baby on the day her sister was killed nine years ago.

"I kind of just took it and said okay, even having it that close to the date I wasn't sure if I wanted to go there," Lacey said. "I wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do. If I should stay away from that day or if it was put there for me to take."
      
She, of course, called her Mom.

"For one thing, I thought it was just a beautiful thought of hers to have," Judy said. "Nothing will ever change what happened to Lynsey, but this makes it a different day, it really does."
   

On June 14th, a date usually filled with heartache for the Chainhalts, Lacey gave birth to Owen Cox.

"That night when I stayed with her in the hospital, the night of the 14th, I just looked at her and said thank you so much for having him today," Judy said.

While Judy started doting on her grandson, Lacey's sister-in-law took flowers to Lynsey's grave on that day.

The love and support from her friends, her family and the family she married into is at times overwhelming.  

"They don't even have to, they just do," Lacey said. "My husband and my sister-in-law are amazing, they have been such a blessing."

While most embraced and loved the idea, others thought it was odd, weird, even creepy to purposefully have a baby on June 14, the anniversary of the day Lynsey died.

"Unless you've been there and lived it and you get this opportunity to change the face of that day, why wouldn't you?" Judy said.

Sgt. Darren Burch of Silent Witness has seen many families shattered and grieving over losing someone to violent crime.

"The anniversary day is so crippling because it is the harshest reminder of all...it's another year you don't have your child, another year ahead. It's so crippling, many parents can't even go to work [and] stay in bed crying," Burch said.

Burch said he wholeheartedly supports what the Chainhalts did with this tragic day in their lives.
      
"That is such a remarkable gift, you can't even put words to how remarkable it is," Burch said.   

"We both thought right away, wow we no longer have to dread that month, dread that day," Judy said.
 
Next year on June 14th, Lacey and Judy will remember Lynsey on the 10 year anniversary of her tragic death, but they will also be celebrating Owen's first birthday.

From his perfect feet to his perfect smile, he brings joy to a family that has survived so much pain.

Silent Witness is looking for two persons of interests in this case: Ricardo Sanches Molinares and Fermin Gomez. 

TIP LINE: 480-WITNESS

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