SPECIAL REPORT -- It has been nearly three years since Melinda Tharp last saw her son, Richard King. Richard was found stabbed to death in the Lenox projects in Boston's South End on July 31, 2011.
The July night he was killed was a night pretty much like any other. Richard was out on the town with his cousins, having a good time. There was no hint of the trouble that would take his life.
Three years later, Richard's family is urging someone to come forward, and help them find justice.
Melinda has never stopped searching for justice, has never stopped missing her son.
"Even though he's not here with me presently, the love that I have for him is still here and it will never, never leave me," Melinda told FOX 25.
Richard was Melinda's youngest son. He was 22 years old in 2011 and living in Dorchester with his mother and brother, Kevin. Family members say Richard was always mindful of the sacrifices his mother was making, raising two active boys alone.
Like his mother, Rich worked two jobs, one as a full-time employee at Subway. He also became certified to de-lead homes. The work kept him busy and off the streets, but Melinda was always concerned.
"Every morning, I would get up, and I would look at his room just to make sure he's there," Melinda said. "I'm a mother, and these are my concerns. I know how these streets are. Of course I'm going to worry about him."
The streets caught up with Richard King on July 31, 2011. At about 4 a.m., police received 911 calls about a body at 25 Trotter Court in the Lenox projects. By the time police arrived, Richard was gone.
In his last hours, Richard visited some family members at a cookout and was playing cards. Melinda spoke to her son sometime around 10 p.m. and asked him what time he had to be at work the next day. He said he had to open up the store.
After that, Rich wound up in Boston's Theatre District, hanging at clubs until closing time. He then started to walk home with a cousin.
Rich got to Lenox Street alone after the cousin took a cab home. At some point in Trotter Court, Rich ran into the wrong person. He was repeatedly stabbed.
This is a violent, personal murder, with still no known motive. Back at the crime scene, Boston detectives are hoping that after nearly three years, someone will tell police what they saw or heard.
Melinda Tharp believes someone must know something about her son's violent murder. She is hanging onto the hope that one day soon she will have justice for her son.
If you know anything about the murder of Richard King, you are urged to contact Boston Police homicide detectives. They can be reached on the Boston Police Crime Stoppers line at 1-800-494-TIPS. You do not have to leave your name.