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Support grows for woman hula-hooping for victims of violent, unsolved murder

Hula hoop
Posted at 4:37 PM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 17:38:18-04

CLEVELAND — It’s been more than three weeks since four bodies were found in an abandoned home on East 144th Street.

No arrests have been made in relation to the quadruple homicide. That’s why several Cleveland women are hoping to keep their legacies alive in an unconventional way.

“Every time I reach through this hoop, I am reaching out to the families of those who have lost these precious, dear loved ones,” one woman said.

Between honks from passing cars and hugs from neighbors, Denise Serena and her friends are mourning the deaths of Aiyanna Quitman, DeJuan Willis, Jazmyne Lawson and Christopher Monroe.

“It is not about me and this hula hoop,” Serena said. “I could do this all day long every day, but I wanted to use my instrument to bring attention to these four individuals.”

Chavitta Powell said acts of violence in Cleveland have become so common, she fears people have stopped paying attention.

“Stand up for the injustice that's happening every day, and unfortunately it's so common that it's not acknowledged,” Powell said.

For five hours, the women sparked conversations in a busy parking lot on Kinsman Road in a way they hoped would be nearly impossible to ignore.

Multiple people who said they heard about the gathering on Facebook showed up with their own hula hoops and joined the crowd.

“You know, just stand up. That's unconventional in Cleveland,” Serena said. “Standing up. Stand up. If one person stands, somebody else will stand.”

Denise Serena said she is planning an indoor fundraiser for the families of Quitman, Willis, Lawson and Monroe on Oct. 19.

RELATED: Cleveland woman's unconventional plea for justice in quadruple homicide