Family of Lawrence woman who was killed at unsanctioned camp to give public statement and feed the unhoused where she died

“We want to let the world know that she wasn’t alone"

photo by: Contributed

Crystal White

The family of a woman who was stabbed to death earlier this month will deliver a public statement and provide a meal for the unhoused in honor of the woman on Friday afternoon at the camp where she died.

The woman, Crystal Marie White, 51, of Lawrence, was found stabbed to death in a tent in an unsanctioned camp around 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 22 near the city-supported camp at 100 Maple St. Police arrested a suspect, Julius Robert Beasley, 40, later that morning. Beasley has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of felony interference with law enforcement, as the Journal-World reported. Beasley is being held on a $500,000 bond and is next scheduled to appear in court on March 5 for a status conference.

White’s sister, Angelina Cruz, is providing a meal for the unhoused at 2 p.m. at the camp at 100 Maple St. to give aid to those White cared for and to give White’s family a chance to speak about the incident publicly, she said. The meal is sponsored by Burrito King and Mama’s Tamale Shop, and the public is invited to attend.

The day that White died was her birthday. Cruz told the Journal-World that she had planned to take White out for a meal and to go shopping that day. She also had a special surprise for White.

“She actually had a new apartment that we were going to surprise her with for her birthday. I always take her to get a new outfit and lunch and I was going to surprise her with the keys. But I didn’t get that chance,” Cruz said.

White was a mother to eight children, and Cruz said that most of those children will attend the ceremony and intend to speak along with White’s mother and sisters.

“We want to let the world know that she wasn’t alone. She had a humongous family who loved and cared for her, and this was a senseless murder,” Cruz said.

Cruz said that in addition to letting the community know more about the family and the love that White had in her life, she wants people to see that White was a fellow human being.

“I don’t want people to look at her as somebody in a tent. She wanted to be there because she takes care of people. She was the heart of that tent city and she took care of everybody there. I just want to respectfully send her off. I want justice for her. We need justice for her,” Cruz said.

A fundraiser on GoFundMe has been established for White’s celebration of life ceremony and cremation, and a formal service is planned for Sunday.


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