KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)- It was five years ago Saturday- January 7th, 2007- when Channon Christian and Chris Newsom were murdered.
The pair went out on a date the night before- putting in motion a series of events that continue to haunt Christian's and Newsom's families
Both families spent Saturday honoring their loved one's memories.
In their last moments alive the couple was carjacked, raped, tortured and murdered.
"It's been terrible days and years since and we don't seem to have any closure," said Chris's father Hugh Newsom.
Five years later- its a story that's angered many and left the two families in agonizing pain.
"It makes me feel good to know that I'm doing something for Chris since this is about one of the only things I can do for him," said Chris's mom Mary Newsom.
Chris's mother and father look over his grave during the memorial service.
Many friends, relatives, and even strangers came out to pay their respects to Chris- they cried, prayed and released balloons in the air that had "I love you" written on them.
Travis May - Chris' best friend said,
"It's a sad day for everybody no one really wants to be here."
A couple hours later - Channon Christian's family held an emotional memorial of their own.
Channon's mother Deena Christian said, We ride for Channon's memory - for truth and justice."
A lack of justice is what both families say bother them each day - and what's keeping their kids from resting in peace.
"What we want people to understand is not only is our justice flawed - in a bad way but unfortunate the animals that did what they did to our kids - there are bunch of them out there," said Deena and Gary Christian, Channon's Parents.
Now the four defendants - Lemaricus Davidson, Letalvis Cobbins, George Thomas, and Vanessa Coleman will have a second chance as all four cases will be retried from front to back. That's because during the trials, former judge, Richard Baumgartner was addicted to prescription pills.
The district attorney is appealing the decision.
"Sitting through some of the evidence and seeing some of the photos is just really sad and they're gonna have to do it all over again," said May.
But for now - their kid's memories and spirit will keep these two families connected forever.