With rising homicide numbers in mind, mother in mourning works to leave legacy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — City and community leaders agree the rise in violence in Indianapolis is alarming and needs to be addressed, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department confirms the city has endured 188 homicides so far in 2020.

Antonia Bailey knows the pain of losing loved ones to violence. Bailey said seeing the alarming numbers is triggering.

“It hurts. Seeing it on the news, for those who have already lost someone, it just makes them relive that pain over and over again,” Bailey said. “No mother or father should have to fill that void that is left when children are taken away.”

Her children, Nicholas Nelson, 16, and Ashlynn Nelson,15, were found shot and killed inside their apartment near 42nd Street and Post Road in 2019.

“Nicholas has had colleges call in just want to see if he’s wanting to come to their college. The conversation that I keep having to have with them is very hard. It brings up that day that I do not like,” Bailey said.

With those responsible for the violence in mind, Bailey’s direct message is to stop and think.

“Once you take that step, they not only ruin their life and their family’s lives. You’ve ruined your life, your family’s life and you are worth so much more,” Bailey said.

Mothering for Bailey looks different now. She is charging the community to give back through the Nelson Siblings Donation Drive for kids ages one through 13.

“I just have so much love that I am unable to give to the two people that I want to give to the most. Why not give it to the community?” Bailey said. “People are hurting. I just want to give love in a different way. The donations will benefit children who have been affected by domestic violence and are currently staying in a shelter.”

A loving legacy and reminder that saving lives is something we all can do in some way.

“There’s purpose behind this. And I have to say that I’ve been gracefully broken,” Bailey said. “Of course, it’s a tragedy but he caught me and I feel like he’s holding back so much of the pain because I’m meant to do something in my children.”

Bailey will be collecting donations at Kindred Hospital North, Capelli Studio Salon and the Far Eastside Neighborhood center from Oct. 19 until Dec. 1. Her hope is for kids to have their items by Christmas.

Drop off sites & times:

  • Kindred Hospital North: 8060 Knue Rd. 46250 – Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Capelli Studio Salon: 2701 W. 71st St. 46268 – Tuesday – Friday from 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Far Eastside Neighborhood Center: 8902 E 38th St. 46226 – Monday – Friday form 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.