ARCADIA, Ind. (WISH) — Jody Conaway’s world turned upside down on Saturday when she found out her daughter, Kalen Hart, and Hart’s boyfriend, Lendon Byram, would not make it over for pictures before prom.
Conaway said it was a night the two had been looking forward to for quite some time.
“I didn’t even get to see her in her prom dress with her hair done and her makeup done, and I mean I’ve gotten to see her partially in her prom dress in the last two days when I’ve went to the coroner’s office to see her,” said Conaway.
Hart was a student at Hamilton Heights, and Byram went to Cathedral High School.
Byram’s classmate, Hudson Miller, said prom was extra important for Byram because this year, Cathedral only allowed seniors to attend. Now, Miller won’t ever get to hear about the night Byram had been talking about for weeks.
“He was like telling us about it and how excited he was to get to go to a prom and everything. Just like thinking about it now, it’s just like so crazy just how excited he was to get to go do that with his girlfriend,” said Miller.
Miller said it’s been a tough stretch for students everywhere, but especially for students at Cathedral.
“This is the third death of a student in like a little more than a year, so it’s like when you think about it, it’s like, ‘Why do we have to keep doing this?’ Having prayer services, having to post RIP Lendon and having to come together and mourn, it’s like, ‘When is it going to stop?'” said Miller.
Conaway wishes she had the answers and said she didn’t only lose her daughter but another person who was quickly becoming part of her family. She said Lendon came over for family dinners two or three nights a week.
His parents are on her mind, as she said Lendon was their only child.
“This hurts for me, and I have two other biological children and two bonus kids, and this is hard enough, so I can’t imagine what they’re going through,” said Conaway.
A meal train and two fundraisers have been set up to help the families: