Loved ones gather to remember 12-year-old boy murdered in Cherok - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Loved ones gather to remember 12-year-old boy murdered in Cherokee Park

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - It's been almost one year since a 12-year-old boy was found murdered in a Louisville park. 

Some loved ones gathered at Cherokee Park on Sunday, just beyond Hogan's Fountain. 

Some of them say they hope the sad situation can shed light on a serious issue. 

They said Ray Etheridge was in a vulnerable situation, and they don't want other kids to slip through the cracks.

Etheridge, who often went by Ray Ray, was found murdered on Sept. 30, 2014. 

"Seems like it was just like, a few weeks ago really," friend Austin Collins said. 

Authorities say on that Tuesday afternoon, Etheridge wandered away from his family and ended up in the park with Joseph Cambron. 

Cambron is accused of stabbing the boy and leaving him in the woods. 

"Seems like he just never really had a chance to be a kid and be safe," family friend Michael Collins said. 

Police say Ray Ray's family was homeless. It's a part of his life that some of these people want to talk about. 

"Until this happened, I didn't realize how many kids go through what Ray Ray went through," Monica Lun said. "So much more common than what you would believe." 

In southern Indiana, where Etheridge was from, Paul Strensrud works with the homeless. 

He says his organization, "Exit 0," has come across families living out of cars. 

"In reality, we need more programs." he said. "More programs out here to work with us, because here in southern Indiana, our shelters are filled" 

It's a problem loved ones want to bring attention to. 

"His family needed help and he needed help and he slipped through the cracks and they could have been helped," Lun said. 

"This isn't an isolated case," Michael Collins said. "It, unfortunately, ended by a tragedy and hopefully we can prevent another tragedy from happening from his story." 

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