I did a double take when I saw Andrea Brooks in the courtroom of a trial that didn’t involve her murdered sister, Chelsea.
Now Andrea, 20, is volunteering with Wichita’s chapter of Parents of Murdered Children. Andrea and her family said Parents of Murdered Children helped them through their difficulty navigating the court system as they waited more than two years and watched three defendants in the case of Chelsea’s killing at age 14. It ended just two weeks ago with the sentencing of Elgin Robinson.
This week, Andrea was in court with another family enduring a tragic loss: that of Kailee Hundley, the 13-month-old girl who died accidentally at day care. Jessica Cummings, the day care provider, was convicted Wednesday of involuntary manslaughter, as Andrea helped console Kailee’s family.
“I decided I wanted to give something back,” Andrea said. “Because Corinne helped me so much.”
There’s rarely a murder trial in Wichita where you won’t see Corinne Radke, who founded the local chapter of Parents of Murdered Children. She has been a steady shoulder for the tears of those who have lost loved ones, as she lost her son, to violence. I’ve even seen Corinne in trials where we were the only ones in the gallery: no family for either the victim or defendant.
If you want to volunteer for, or need help from, Parents of Murdered Children, call the local office at 316-265-1600.