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San Diego Park To Honor Two Slain Boys

This summer, a small park in Imperial Beach will be dedicated to the memory of two young boys. Their abduction and murder 19 years ago brought together two mothers who shared fond memories of their sons.

Evening Edition

"My baby was so full of life, just happy, happy, loved basketball, loved helping people. The kids in his 4th grade classroom described him as a peace maker and that's Jonathan," said Milena Sellers-Phillips, the boys mother.

"Charlie was a happy kid too and he liked to go fishing and he liked to play Nintendo and he loved to ride his bike," said his mother, Maria Keever. Their sons were riding bikes in Imperial Beach along the Otay River bank when they were abducted on March 27, 1993.

Aired 4/13/12 on KPBS News.

This summer, a small park in Imperial Beach will be dedicated to the memory of two young boys. Their abduction and murder 19 years ago brought together two mothers who shared fond memories of their sons.

"After you have lost a loved one you are not the same," said Sellers-Phillips. Her son Jonathan died 22 days before his 10th birthday. He and his 13 year old friend Charlie Keever were kidnapped and murdered by sexual predator Scott Erskine. It took eight years before DNA evidence connected the killings to Erskine who was already serving time for the brutal rape of a woman.

Charlie's mother Maria tried to speak with him later on death row, but Erskine refused.

"I wanted to find out the last words of my son and if he, you know, asked for me," she said.

The death of their sons has created a bond between these two that didn't exist before.

"So the boys wanted us to meet each other, but it just didn't happen, said Sellers-Phillips.

What did happen is the Keever and Sellers Educational Activity Center and Park. It will break ground this summer. Bringing renewed hope to this South Bay community is the goal of these mothers. "Trying to make a negative situation positive to bring light to a dark place," they said.

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