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Mother of slain Frederick man plans annual vigil

Sunday - 7/1/2012, 2:00am  ET

Nine years after her son's death, Terry Horman has written a letter to his killer.

Horman calls it an "open letter" to her son's executioner. She got the idea from an investigator in New York who said a similar letter had worked for him in the past.

"With each passing day, I feel God's giving me the strength to become a stronger person," Horman wrote. "It's a good feeling and maybe someday I will be able to help other parents who have lost a child. This could be what God has in mind for me."

Her son, Joshua Wayne Crawford, was found dead in his apartment on Exeter Court on July 2, 2003. It would have been his 21st birthday.

Crawford died of suffocation and blunt force trauma. His arms and legs were bound; duct tape covered his nose and mouth. The Frederick County Sheriff's Office handled the case.

"Joshua's safe in heaven now, but you are not safe," Horman wrote. "You will have to hide and lie for the rest of your life."

Horman hopes someone will read the letter and come forward with information.

Monday will mark the ninth anniversary of his death and what would have been his 30th birthday.

Horman holds a vigil each year on Crawford's birthday. The first few were more like a party, but as time passes, the event has changed.

"Each year I get more focused on his murder case," she said.

Horman plans to release a paper lantern during this year's vigil, scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday at Clustered Spires Cemetery in Frederick.

Horman has also created a YouTube channel for Crawford's case that has already been viewed about 200 times.

"Maybe someday we will come face to face," she wrote, "and when that happens and I look you in the eye, I will know you are the one."