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About a week after posting a plea, the mother of a murdered Alliance man has exceeded the halfway point on fundraising for his funeral.
Cindy Parsons, the mother of 22-year-old Justin Tyler Earley, had raised $4,715 towards $8,000 goal to get him back home and bury him.
Parsons' posted Jan. 18 on GoFundMe.com, "(My son Justin Earley) was murdered by a man in Portage County. The murderer left him in the house to decompose for three weeks before the police found him. We need help getting Justin back home and burying him."
Earley's accused killer is facing the death penalty, after being indicted last week by the Portage County grand jury on two counts of aggravated murder as well as single counts of kidnapping and aggravated robbery.
According to GoFundMe, the site faciliating the fundraiser, Earley's story has been shared 306 times, mostly through Facebook and Twitter, and garnered 317 donations as of Tuesday afternoon.
This story seems to have really touched the hearts of many in the world, including one soldier currently deployed in the Middle East.
He wrote with his donation, "I am truly sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you. I am currently employed in Afghanistan, and I know how it feels to be hurt by something so tragic and so far away."
Justin Earley's family is garnering quite a bit of emotional and financial support from the gay community, especially on the West Coast.
"I am so sorry to hear of your son's tragic passing. I am confident that you can raise enough to give him a proper burial. I am asking all my friends here in the West Hollywood gay community to help and pass the word on," one poster wrote.
One couple wrote, "I can't imagine what you are going through, but my thoughts are with you and your family. Your son was important to the world and did not deserve this."
John R. Fox, who is accused of murdering Earley, was arraigned Monday morning before Portage County Common Pleas Court Judge Laurie J. Pittman with a jury trial set for Aug. 4.
Earley was reported missing on Dec. 30, after failing to return home after an alleged meeting with a Kent man.
After Alliance police initiated the missing person investigation locally, it led to a series of subpoenas that led them to Fox, who is a registered sex offender, and discovery of Earley's body in his apartment closet after execution of a search warrant.
And, Josh Earley, the victim's brother posted Monday to the GoFundMe page to those who donated for his brother's funeral: "This means so much. I cannot believe the story behind it. God gifted (us with) many great people in this world (and this) truly shows the ones who care."
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