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Community helps mother of murdered son keep her home

A kind Tucsonan with a big heart has helped the family of murder victim Derreck Burruss, 16, remain in its home.

Gail Leland, director of the nonprofit Homicide Survivors, was the host of a presentation ceremony Thursday at which Morgan Hunter gave Lakia Culver, Burruss’ mother, a check for $2,200.

The family’s home was heading for foreclosure because Culver hadn’t been able to work for several months after her son was shot on his way home from a watching a movie at Park Place on Jan. 5, 2008.

Hunter decided to help after reading about the killing and the family’s struggle to keep its home a year after the boy’s death.

“She was just incapacitated for several months,” Hunter said of Lakia Culver.

The retired University of California administrator prepared “a little document” he and his wife Sharon gave to neighbors at Heritage Highlands, a retirement community in Marana.

Forty residents donated the $2,200, Hunter said.

“The thing that really impressed me was this is a family trying to keep it together. They just needed somebody to step up and help them,” he said.

“It gave Lakia the spark of knowing somebody cared.”

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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