Friends of man killed last month work to create permanent park marker

by: Mark Becker Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Carole Ross knows this Thanksgiving will be difficult.

One month after the friend she'd known since high school was killed, the pain is still very real.

She choked back tears as she described how she had convinced Bob Heym to move to Charlotte eight years ago, after she learned he'd been living on the streets in New York.

In October, Heym, 65, was walking home from work when he was shot and killed during a robbery attempt on Conway Avenue in south Charlotte, just blocks from his home.

Police quickly made two arrests in the case, but Ross and her son Mike did not stop working.

"I just don't like that as the ending of the story," Mike Ross said Wednesday.

He and his mother contacted the city and then the county about a memorial for Bob Heym.

"We had an idea that we wanted to do it in a park. We just wanted to look and see what was around," Mike Ross said.

They settled on Collins Park, a small park just around the corner from where Heym had lived.

It's a small park, easy to miss, tucked into the tree-lined folds of the neighborhood that was so shaken by his murder. It is just the kind of place where Heym would like to sit with his Kindle and read.

"He'd be quietly in the back," Mike Ross said.

The memorial will be a simple one -- a park bench with a small plaque and a tree that will live a long time after the memory of Bob Heym has faded, with a message, the Rosses hope, that will last many lifetimes.

"I just want to see the goodness in people. I don't want this to have such a negative impact," Carole Ross said.

"Love and kindness and the good nature of people is going to overcome any of the bad things--the evil and hatred and violence in this world," Mike Ross added.

CLICK HERE for more information on the memorial fund for Heym.