Richmond still recovering from murder, six years later

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RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) - The start of a new year is always shadowed with an old memory for Lynne Hughes.  She knew Bryan and Kathryn Harvey. And she’ll never forget how she felt the day they died.

"The fact that it really did happen and that we all looked in to the face of evil, it's hard to recover from that," said Hughes.

Six years after the couple and their two young daughter’s deaths, Hughes believes Richmond is still changed by their horrific fate.

"It's Richmond's worst tragedy. I do think you go back to where you were and what you were doing, that horror," said Hughes.

On Jan. 1, 2006, the Harvey family were beaten and tortured to death. Their home was then set on fire. A man named Ricky Gray confessed to the killings was convicted of the crimes and awaits execution. His accomplice is also serving a life sentence.

Kathryn Harvey owned the World of Mirth toy store in Carytown which now closes every New Year’s Day in remembrance of the family. Even with years gone by comments of sympathy for surviving family and friends posted were today on Facebook.

“If you didn't know them then you knew somebody who knew them," said Hughes.

Hughes worked directly with many who knew them well. She founded a bereavement camp and says after the killings those hurting most shared their pain in her group.  She says time makes it easier, but it never goes away.

"I think it was a loss of innocence for this whole community and it affected people on many levels and they're still being affected today," she said.