Bouquets of blue and white balloons drifted into a cloudless sky as a woman sang “Amazing Grace” during a ceremony Friday at Hope Faith shelter honoring two houseless people who were killed in a double homicide.
About 40 people gathered to remember Marcia Boring, 52, and Eugene Shaw, 50, who were found dead May 6 in a wooded area in the Northeast behind a railroad property in Kansas City.
Kira Washington, Boring’s daughter, wiped tears from her face.
“This was her community,” she said. “This was her life. All of this was a part of her.”
Boring and Shaw were clients of Hope Faith at the time of their deaths.
Doug Langner, executive director of the shelter, talked about their spirit, which he said was present among the group.
“I’m sorry for the way your life ended and that there were so many things in our community and society that were not there for you,” he said.
“Whoever did this, we hope that they are captured so that this senseless violence does not continue.”
Langner encouraged houseless community members who were scared by the double homicide to lean on each other. He also implored members of the City Council and Jackson County legislators in attendance to do more to protect those in need of housing.
Washington, her daughter Kemya Washington, 6, and her aunt LeVada McHenry sat at the front of the crowd.
Shortly after, Boring’s family was invited to stand up and release the balloons, which said “Remember Marcia Boring.”
When Boring and her husband, McHenry’s brother, moved to Kansas City about 12 years ago, they stayed with McHenry. Boring convinced McHenry to let two strangers with no place to go to stay in their shared home. It serves as a reminder to McHenry of the 52-year-old’s kind heart.
McHenry said her sister-in-law was often without housing and preferred it that way. Only within the past few weeks had Boring expressed a commitment to move into a house with her daughter and 6-year-old granddaughter.
Kira Washington said Boring was helping pack for the move a few weeks ago.
“She was so happy and excited,” Washington said.
In a phone interview with The Star, Tina Farber, who worked as an intern for Hope Faith about eight years ago, said all Boring ever wanted was to be with her daughter
“She put everyone before herself,” Farber said of her friend.
At times, she said, this led to Boring being taken advantage of by others in the houseless community.
Farber also said when the houseless are victims of crime, it often goes unnoticed, but she hopes that Boring’s homicide will be a turning point.
On May 6, Kansas City police were called to 2nd Street and Lydia Avenue on reports of two dead bodies found at a homeless camp in the woods, according to a search warrant filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.
When officers arrived, they spoke with two people who allegedly discovered the bodies and helped identify the victims. The pair said the victims regularly frequented the camp, according to court documents.
Police observed that both Boring and Shaw were lying in front of a gray and lime green tent.
Officers received a search warrant to look through the tent and found information identifying another woman inside, said the documents.
The woman was brought in for questioning the next day. She alleged she witnessed Shaw kill Boring and someone else kill Shaw in retaliation.
Officers are seeking another search warrant to look through the woman’s phone, which she contended had messages about the homicides.
On Friday evening Capt. Leslie Foreman, a spokeswoman for Kansas City Police Department said the case is still being investigated as a double homicide and no further information could be shared.
The Star’s Bill Lukitsch contributed to this story.