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Slain Teen's Mom Struggling to Pay for Funeral: 'We Are Broken'

CHICAGO LAWN — Slain teen Julius Campbell’s funeral is set for Thursday, his mother said. But she doesn’t know how she’ll pay for it.

“We didn’t have any insurance on Julius," Christina Campbell said Monday. "It stings that I just don’t have the money for my son’s flowers and getting my [five other] children together." 

Julius, a 14-year-old freshman from Gage Park High School, went missing March 7. Late last week, his mother positively identified him as the young man pulled from a Marquette Park lagoon April 12.

Sitting in her Chicago Lawn living room Monday, Christina Campbell watched as her 5-year-old son, Malik, practiced tying his shoes. Certificates of achievement for her six children drape the walls.

“The whole six weeks, I was telling my kids, [Julius] is going to be OK,” Christina Campbell said. “He’s going to walk through this door and he’s going to hug us. We’re going to be together again because this house is not the same without Julius.”

Since splitting with her children’s father in 2012, Campbell has been a single mother reliant on Section 8 housing and Link Card assistance. She plans to go back to school in August when Malik starts kindergarten.

“I have no income at all,” Campbell said. “I have had one job all my life, and that was always a homemaker.”

For now, Campbell has reached out to CPS officials and Ald. Joann Thompson, whose office is helping with funeral arrangements.

Programs such as the Illinois Crime Victim's Compensation Act offer financial assistance for families of murder victims. But Campbell said no one informed her about any fiscal support, and she’s never had to navigate a homicide before.

“I don’t know how to come back from this,” she said, her voice wavering. “We are just broken … I know at this time I’m going to need some counseling and therapy to even hold myself together.”

Campbell said her younger children’s grades have slipped since Julius Campbell’s March 7 disappearance. And on Saturday, her 16-year-old son Amontay was picked up for an alleged shooting, she said. Prosecutors said he shot another man twice.

“You see a change in them,” Campbell said. “That’s to be expected. But I don’t want them to be like that. This right here will really tear you down… All I can do is hold my babies and tell them it’ll be alright.”

Christina Campbell said she’s seeking financial or counseling assistance from the community. Anyone wishing to help can contact Debbie Blair in Ald. Thompson’s office at 773-434-3399.