Uncle of murdered Jackson teen speaks out - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Uncle of murdered Jackson teen speaks out

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A relative of the 15-year old found murdered in Jackson this week says it's up to us to steer young people down the right path.

"He's being baptized. He's about to be immersed in water."

Walley Naylor baptized his nephew, Edward Evans, back in 2007 when the boy was 10. Naylor says at that time Evans was a well adjusted child. But he hadn't spoken to Evans in the past two years. Naylor holds himself partly responsible for the end result.

On Monday, Evans' badly decomposed body was found among the weeds behind an abandoned home on Barrett Avenue in Jackson. He had been shot in the head.

"It appears over the past couple of years, because of conditions that happen in people's lives, in society, he began to associate with people that were not like himself," said Naylor.

Naylor says Evans may not have been guided in making good choices or choosing the right friends. He says that's something everyone is responsible for.

"Edward is a product of our society today. We've allowed society to erode to the point where human life has no value, we don't respect each other's person. Who is gonna be the next Edward? That's my primary concern. What is society gonna do to begin to make chances so we can stop these young people from being found dead on a regular basis?" said Naylor.

Naylor wonders how the teen years could have been different for Evans, if he had been exposed to other things.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi keeps young people busy, exercising and learning, five days a week, all year around. It's just one of a variety of programs that can step in where parents can't, or in some case won't.

Executive Director Billy Redd says kids who come here have a 95 percent graduation rate. The incarceration rate among  young people in the program is zero. The pregnancy rate among girls here is zero.

"They're doing something productive, they're not home alone, they're not on the street, they're in a building where there's caring adults who live them, but they're gonad make certain they do the right things," said Redid.

It's just $25 a year to enroll a child ages 6 to 18 in the boys and girls clubs. It's completely privately funded and donations are always needed so more children, just like Edward Evans, can be reached.

Police are still searching for the shooter.

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