Group to host event in Durham for children of murdered parents to grieve, talk and have some fun

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Organizers of Resting Angels and Fun Day expect up to 150 families at Cook Road Park in Durham on April 30.

The park will become a safe space for children of murdered parents to grieve, talk and have fun.

Tammie Goodman remains hopeful that her son Charleston Goodman will come home alive, not just for her, but for his daughter. She was just 5 years old when he disappeared.

"She really don't trust people since her dad got kidnapped and possibly murdered," said Goodman, the organizer of the event. "She said 'grandma, all I know is daddy was on his way to get me, and he never got there. Some bad people got him.'"

Charleston Goodman was kidnapped in 2018 outside his home on East Woodcroft Parkway. A warrant suggested his kidnapping was a retaliation.

On Wednesday, Durham Police investigators told ABC11 that there are no new updates, and the case remains unsolved.

"She misses him. She misses him a lot. When she sees other little girls with their dads, sometimes she'll call me and talk about it," said Goodman.

Researchers say pain and trauma can create toxic stress in children and lead to health issues and behavior problems.

Researchers from the Economic Policy Institute studied 5-year-olds and found a wealth and race gap between children exposed to frightening or threatening experiences.

Families making less than $20,000 a year are more likely to have encountered several violent or traumatic experiences.

Black children are 45% more likely than White children to experience at least one frightening or threatening experience, and 21% more likely to be exposed to multiple traumatic experiences.

"I think that families need to remember kids are humans, too, and they need to talk about how they feel," said Goodman.

Goodman's event at Cook Road Park will include a vigil, balloon release, food, music and games -- a safe place for children like her granddaughter to heal, express themselves and have fun.

The event runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April 30.

Goodman said the mayor and civil rights leaders have been invited. She is hoping the city will see the value in the event and make it an annual sponsored event.
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