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Memorial for Worcester murder victim vandalized, family says

WORCESTER, Mass. — The family of a woman killed for her unborn child says they were left heartbroken again as they tried to mark 10 years since her death.

The father of Darlene Haynes says someone vandalized a memorial he and his granddaughters made for the Worcester woman. The Haynes family is grateful they were able to replace the damaged flowers but say they're still distraught someone destroyed them in the first place.

"It's been hard," said Fred Haynes, Darlene's father. "It's been a long ten years."

It took Fred several years to find the strength to return to the spot in Worcester where his daughter was found murdered in 2009 for her unborn child.

"It's the first time I've been back here since it happened, it's not easy," he said. "The last time was probably right after court when they found her guilty, I came here. That's when the house was still here."

In 2014 Julie Corey was convicted of killing Haynes and cutting her baby girl from her womb. The baby survived, and Corey tried to claim she was hers.

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The Worcester apartment complex on Southgate Street where Haynes was found in was demolished and replaced with a playground. But that doesn’t make it any easier for her family to visit.

And what was supposed to be a big moment of healing turned into another moment of grief.

"We came down and we put this up and put flowers up and I came by a couple hours hour and they were all gone and stepped on," Fred Haynes said.

Haynes had three other daughters, two of them, Lillian and Jasmen, wrote a book in honor of their sister and left a sign to tell her about it.

"I'm glad the sign is still up, but the flowers [are] really what I think really means more to it," said Lillian.

"We came up here and we put flowers and then someone took them [and] threw them on the ground," Jasmen said.

Herbert Berg Florist replaced the flowers for the family. They say they'll continue with their long road toward healing and spreading the message in what is the first of many books they plan to release.

There isn't a permanent memorial for Haynes – something the family now hopes to change. They are now fundraising with a GoFundMe.