Knoxville (WVLT) - The events of January 8th, 2007 turned the lives of two families upside down...
A young couple, 21-year-old Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom were brutally murdered when five suspects allegedly carjacked, raped and killed them. Volunteer TV spoke with Christopher's family on Monday who say even four and a half months later...losing their son is still no easier to deal with.
"He just really enjoyed life and that's what hurts so bad that his life was taken away and he was way too young for that," Mary Newsom says.
As Chris Newsom's parents imagine what may have happened one fateful day in January...
"I sit in that chair at night and look over at that picture and I just cry... tears roll down my cheeks... I think of what they did to him... him just laying there burned," Mary says.
They lean on each other... reading each other's thoughts... finishing the other's sentences...
"Both of them suffered... tremendously... they had to... in their last hours of life," Hugh & Mary Newsom say.
As they support each other... they are also supporting a promise they both made to Chris in death.
"I would be present when any one of those animals made their appearance. I would be there to represent him and I intend to keep that promise," Hugh says.
But they say even justice won't help them heal completely.
"We're all trying to get through this and recover, but there's not gonna be any closure," Mary says.
They receive love, prayers and support from every direction... they also say they knew Chris died trying to protect his soulmate -- Channon Christian.
"He was so much in love with her. That compounds our loss," Hugh says.
"He had golfed all that day and came home to change... and had a big smile on his face when he came down the stairs and we knew he had a date with her," Mary says.
But her family -- Channon Christian's family -- helps them heal...
"They're the only ones who can really understand the way we feel, because they know we feel the same way," Mary says.
And the Newsom's find a different strength in their own family...
"We have three other children and grandchildren and we have to go on for them," Hugh says.
With each day that passes... Chris's memory lives on in the Newsom home... through pictures... through smiles... through the many, many, memories.
"He was either at the golf course, or he was out fishing or he was playing tennis... or with Channon," Mary says.
Now they believe he's with Channon... and will be forever.
The Newsom family asks for your prayers, support, even from those they don't know, is helping them heal.