Midtown Harrisburg memorial taken down, family of slain resident stunned

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Steve Esworthy was attacked and killed last June in Midtown Harrisburg after he left his brother’s wedding.

Hours after his death, a memorial was created near where he passed away.

The Second City Church on Verbeke Street gave the family permission to have it on their property for one year.

Shane Bender volunteered his time to keep the memorial from becoming an eye sore.

“People who didn’t even live in the city would stop by,” Bender said. “They would pay their respects and leave items at the memorial.”

Rita Cruz is Esworthy’s cousin. She says a family member noticed that the memorial was gone.

“I got a call that all of the items were taken down,” Cruz said. “My heart dropped to the ground.”

Cruz says she spoke with a neighbor who was glad that it was gone.

“He said that it should have been done sooner,” Cruz said. “He said that the memorial was hampering neighbors from selling their houses.”

Bender says that they plan on building another memorial along the fence at the church.

“I am going to put a team together and get stuff back on there,” Bender said. “Whoever took this down does not have a heart, but we will let them know that Steve’s family and friends want to continue to pay tribute to a man who was kind and giving to others.”

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