A family continues to seek answers, as the one year anniversary of the murder of Harold Defils creeps closer.
On July 22nd, 23-year-old Defils died after he was shot during a fight outside of Mon Ami Tavern in Jeanerette. Two others were shot but survived that night. In September of 2012, Iberia Parish investigators arrested 24-year-old Steven Proctor and charged him with second degree attempted murder for one of the men shot in the fight but no charges were filed for Defils' murder.
At the home of his mother, family and friends sat under "the Pavilion", Defils favorite place. The self-proclaimed BBQ King would often park his truck near-by and cook for his family and friends. As the one year mark approaches, his mother Rachelle and best friend Terry Robertson said they are doing everything they can to keep his name on everyone's mind.
"We wear shirts, towels," Robertson began. "A lot of social clubs we go to, everyone knew him. so, it's like we keep him with us everywhere we go."
Robertson and Defils met and worked in the same community social club called the 105 the Movement. Roberston called Defils his brother and said he will never give up until the killer is found or comes forward.
His mother agreed, "If you never lost a child you will never understand that feeling." She mentioned the past year has been a struggle and she desperately prays for closure. Over the past year, she said she has done as much as she can to keep her son's memory and the search for his killer alive.
"People knock me down sometimes," she began, "like I'm doing too much. It's never enough when it comes to your child."
In keeping his memory alive, a friend of the family, paid for a billboard, just a few miles away from where he was murdered. The billboard starts with a simple message, 'Do you know who killed me?' It also lists Defils' name, date of death, picture and a phone number to call with information. Information that his mother said can come in any manner. She said she knows some people may be afraid to come forward," But you don't have to be afraid. They can go anonymous and nobody will ever have to know."
"You can't tell me no one saw anything," said Robertson. "It's a small world. It wasn't in a club and it wasn't in a dark area. Maybe it was a mistake. We are just looking for somebody to come clean."
Defils, the oldest of five, was praised by his mother for being a fun-loving person who would do anything for his siblings. "Whatever they wanted, whatever they needed he was right there. Like I have said from day one, my backbone is gone. I say that with pride. My backbone is gone," she said, with tears in her eyes.
She praised the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Department for their hard work and for keeping the family informed. "They call. They let you know everything they are doing. Any questioning, any pick-ups, anything dealing with the case." Now, she hopes the killer will do the right thing and come forward and give her and the family some peace.
"We won't stop. I can't." The family plans to have a memorial on July 20th in New Iberia. Anyone with information involving Defils death is asked to called the Iberia Parish Sheriff's office.