Family, Friends Gather to Remember Murder Victim


STAUNTON, Va. -- Folks in the Valley are remembering the life and legacy of a local murder victim.

Family and friends gathered Sunday night for a memorial service for Julian Parrott, telling the story of the 26-year-old who was murdered earlier this month.

"Julian is, has been and always will be the poster child for how we should all act every single day," said Brandon Peyton, Parrott's cousin.

"He was continually joyful - yet with a joy that covered deep wounds," said Parrott's friend Pack Fancher. "There are people, it seems, who take great pleasure in inflicting pain. Yet despite repeated episodes of cruelty and bullying, Julian walked cheerfully through life. We remember him walking dogs, waving with a happy greeting, speaking with him on Beverly Street or at the park."

It was a somber service, but had a message of hope.

"And then, it says, 'He will wipe away every tear from our eyes.' Forever," Rev. Rick Gilmartin said, quoting scripture. "The grief you are feeling today, friends, is right. Jesus felt it. But it's not the end of the story."

Peyton asked everyone in attendance to continue Parrott's legacy of love.

"He has left his book unfinished," Peyton said. "And now all of us as a whole must step up and fill in those blank pages."

Parrott was found dead at Gypsy Hill Park on May 8 after being stabbed several times.

The 16-year-old arrested in connection with Parrott's murder will be tried as an adult. He faces a charge of first-degree murder.


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