One Family: Two Tragedies
By: Carly O'Keefe
CARRIER MILLERS, Ill. - It's difficult to imagine losing a son or daughter, but one Carrier Mills family lost both in one tragic weekend.
Jade Winston died Friday night of a gunshot wound she received at her sister's apartment. Police have questioned several people and checked out a number of alibis concerning the 18 year old's death, but have no suspects. Police aren't saying much other than calling her death suspicious at this time; her family goes a step further.
"At first we didn't know what happened to my sister, now we know it's not suicide, it was murder," said Jana Mitchell, Jade's sister.
Jade was a member of the Carrier Mills High School dance team. She would have started her senior year next week. Family members say she was always smiling and liked making people laugh.
"She got along with everybody, she was just goofy, people loved being around her," said Mitchell. "I don't know who would have come into my house and done that to my sister."
Before her family could even fully mourn Jade, another tragedy struck. Jerome Mitchell, Jade's 22-year-old brother, was died in a car accident early Sunday morning.
"Jerome's wreck probably was due to the fact of dealing with my sister's death," said Mitchell.
Jerome leaves behind not only his parents and siblings, but a family of his own.
"He got a daughter and another on the way," Mitchell said.
It's not just Jade and Jerome's family reeling from the weekend's tragic events. The tight-knit community of Carrier Mills feels the loss too.
"They were both great people. I miss Jerome. I heard it this morning and started crying myself, he was one of my good friends, and it's a shame to see him gone," said Jason Duvall of Carrier Mills.
A joint funeral will be held Thursday at the Carrier Mills Elementary School for Mitchell and Winston. Visitation is 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The funeral will begin at 11 a.m.