October 25, 2013 - 7:47amUpdated: October 25, 2013 - 9:32am
Kelly Goforth's mom Maxine holds her baby son and her sister Shayleen holds a candle they keep burning in her memory October 2013. Adriana Christianson/CJME
Monday will be his first birthday but Kelly Goforth's son will never know his mom—she was found murdered on Sept. 25 and now her family is begging for answers.
Police were originally called out to an alley behind the 1700 block of McAra Street in Regina after someone reported a sick or hurt person lying in the street. When they arrived, the Regina Police Service said afterward, they found the body of a woman.
There has been no explanation given for why 21-year-old Kelly Nicole Goforth was in the industrial area. The cause of death has also not been revealed.
THE NIGHT KELLY DIDN'T COME HOME
Kelly was living with her sister Shayleen Goforth when she went out one night and never returned.
“I kept waking up and wondering where she is and it felt so funny,” Shayleen said.
The next day she and her mom Maxine Goforth started getting more worried; it was not like Kelly to be away from her son that long.
“He rested his head on his mom’s bed and he was just laying there crying. So I felt so bad and that’s when I prayed for my sister to come home,” she said.
After the family reported her missing police officers turned up at their door in the middle of the night. At first Shayleen thought they had good news. She asked them if Kelly was okay.
“That’s when they told me they did find my sister but she wasn’t alive. So I freaked right out and I just ran inside,” she said. “That just shattered my whole heart, it’s like a whole piece just left my body.”
Watching her four grandchildren play together, Maxine explained she has three sons and had three daughters—Kelly was her baby girl. Some nights she still can’t sleep, knowing that whoever killed her daughter is still out there.
“We sit on the steps here and we look down the street and it’s like we can see her walking home,” Maxine explained, knowing in her heart that she never will.
A LOVING PERSON WHO SUPPORTED HER FAMILY IN TIMES OF GRIEF
Shayleen Goforth looks at a picture of her sister Kelly. Adriana Christianson/CJME
Looking through family pictures of Kelly, her sister and mom describe the happy times they shared.
“She treated my kids like her own,” Shayleen explained, remembering how her sister would get them all up and out of the house to go for a walk, sometimes spoiling all the kids with treats. As for her own son, “He was her life.”
His family says they will make sure he remembers his mother.
Maxine remembers Kelly as a loving daughter who supported her family through many hard times. Looking back she admits Kelly had a lot of grief in her life, admitting they lost a lot of loved ones. Kelly’s fiancée took his own life just a few months before she died. But her daughter was strong and always told them it was going to be okay.
Now Maxine struggles to deal with the grief without that comfort.
“We take it minute by minute; it’s a struggle still.”
Maxine explains that when she gets lonely for Kelly she holds her grandson: he has his mom’s eyes and nose.
NO GANG CONNECTION
To this day Maxine insists she has no idea who would want to hurt her daughter or why.
But Kelly's mother explains they were not actually relatives. Maxine insists Kelly was not connected with any kind of gang and says her immediate family members are not affiliated with any gang either.
“She was close to the late Danny Wolfe—that was her brother, her adoptive brother only. But that doesn’t mean she was involved with that I.P. gang,” she said.
Maxine says her daughter may have known people with bad pasts but she taught her to look beyond that and love people for who they are. She also doesn't believe that connection to Wolfe has anything to do with her daughter's death.
“I know that’s not why my daughter was taken from us. I know that,” she said.
STILL SEARCHING FOR PEACE
For their family Maxine says the search for justice is not about retribution; it’s about finding answers and getting closure.
“I left my baby back home, buried, not knowing who did that to her,” she said. “I buried her with so many questions not answered."
Maxine does have faith in the police investigation, saying the officers on the case have been very good about talking to her.
“I also believe that these people, this person or persons, are going to be caught,” she said. “I know people know something out there and I just ask them to come forward."
The family keeps a candle burning on the kitchen table with a picture of Kelly. They say it’s a light to help guide her to peace. They won’t let it go out until the police find whoever is responsible for her death.