Patricia Jones describes her late brother John Butts as a humble man who loved Christ and was eager to share his testimony.
John Butts was killed on July 22 by three white teens while he walked along Highway 310 in Como, Mississippi. FBI investigators suspect that John was racial targeted by the teens who allegedly robbed a church prior to killing him.
John’s family said that he was an avid walker and was determined to stay healthy by exercising.
“He was walking for health. He’s been doing it for years, “said Jones.
Several years ago, John was involved in a train accident in which his injuries helped doctors discover that he had colon cancer.
Jones told BlackAmericaWeb.com that her brother’s story made a positive impact in the lives of others.
“It didn’t matter who it was. He did not mind sharing his story, you know what God has done for him,” Jones said. “He was always willing to help.”
Matthew Whitten Darby, 17, has been charged with John’s murder after the other teen passengers allegedly turned him in.
Jones explained that since her brother’s death, there has been a void in her life.
“It seems like I’ve lost something and I just can’t find it. It seems unreal,” Jones said. “My brother played a big part in my life. He just took care of us and I wish we could have taken care of him.”
Jones said that when her family entered her brother’s home shortly after the incident they found that he had his clothes prepared to go to church. He was expected to teach Sunday school that particular day.
“He had some black slacks and a shirt laying out to come back and get dressed to go to church. And he never made it,” Jones said.
The family said that they were always concerned about his safety while walking.
“He said that he always made sure it was daylight so they can see me and I can see them. Families that live around the area said he always walks and if you came by and blowed your horn ‘Hey John,’ he did not take his eyes off of what he was doing. He would just throw his hand up and wave at you but he would pay attention to make sure he was not in the road,” Jones reflected.
As the investigation continues, the family said that they just want justice.
“We just want justice served for him. It’s not going to bring him back no matter what we do or how we do it. I can’t save my brother. I can’t save my nephew’s dad but maybe I can save somebody else’s brother or somebody else’s dad,” Jones expressed.
“I want this to go around the world. I want them to know that here it is 2012 and stuff like this still could happen,” Jones said.
Jones and her family are asking for prayers for their family as well as the family of the suspects involved.
“I know his family has to be feeling some kind of sorrow or something in their heart. I know we all need prayer,” Jones said. “I’m just asking the whole nation as a whole to pray for our family because we need prayer. That’s the only way we are going to make it.”
Jones said that she still struggles night after night with the big hole left in her life.
“It’s going to take some getting used to and it’s just very, very hard,” Jones said.