(WZZM) - It was considered one of the worst crimes Ottawa County had seen in decades. Four people were murdered in a Wright Township Home in 2008. The mother of one of the victims says the pain is still there, but she deals with it through running.
Natalie Kik-Brown still struggles to talk about her daughter's murder. At the time, Katherine was 18-years old and attending Michigan State University. Katherine and her boyfriend, Jeremy Zimmer, had gone to his mother's house in Wright Townshipfor dinner. It was there that Katherine, Jeremy, his brother Tyler, and their mother, Sharmaine, were murdered. The man who did it, a family friend, set their house on fire to cover up the crimes.
Two years before that, Natalie's husband had been killed by a driver, who ran a stop sign. That's when she met Joan Grillo, a victims advocate for Ottawa County. Joan helped the Brown family through their ordeal. They never expected to meet again, but they did after Katherine's murder.
The two became good friends and eventually started a 5K race called "Katty Shack". That was Katherine's nickname in high school. The Katty Shack 5K is going on it's fifth year. So far, they've raised $37,000 for the "Crime Victim Foundation" in Ottawa County. They hope to reach $50,000this year.
"It's unfortunate that we have to have such an organization, but there are victims every day," said Natalie.
The Katty Shack 5-K, One Mile Walk-Run to benefit The Crime Victim Foundationis scheduled for Saturday, April 26th in Grand Haven.
The man convicted of killing Katherine Brown, and the Zimmers, is five years into a lifetime prison sentence. Now 36 years old, Troy Brake is lodged at the Michigan reformatory in Ionia County. An attempt to have his conviction oveturned failed in 2010, when the Michigan court of appeals rejected his appeal.