LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Jackie Yarbrough keeps her son’s picture close to her heart, inside a heart-shaped necklace, as a reminder of what she lost.
“He was so kind to anyone that he’s ever crossed paths with. He always was trying to help, always trying to help,” Yarbrough said.
Zachary Stewart, 52, was a mental health counselor. His sister, Carrisse Stewart Hull, said she moved back to Louisville five years ago after earning a master’s degree in mental health counseling. She said he spent time mentoring young men and described him as the most positive person in the room.
“He poured love and encouragement and laughter into so many people and he touched so many lives,” Hull said.
On Sept. 3, just before 10:30 p.m., LMPD officers found Stewart and 31-year-old Devin Eggers outside on Portland Avenue near 24th Street with gunshot wounds. Both of them died.
Yarbrough remembers getting the call late that night. She said she replays it every day in her mind.
“I couldn’t get myself together because I didn’t believe it,” Yarbrough said. “I was told my son was murdered.”
Stewart’s family believes he was helping someone that night.
“I was told my son was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Yarbrough said. “And I also want everyone to know, this was not Black on Black crime.”
Hull explained to WAVE 3 News her brother was doing counseling that night, trying to help a family.
Police have not publicly released information on a suspect.
“He can’t bring my brother back but I’d like for there to be some justice,” Hull said.
The family buried Stewart’s ashes last Friday on what would have been his birthday. They released balloons and comforted each other as they continue to wait for answers.
“Even to this day, we have not received any of my brother’s belongings,” Hull said. “Not his clothes on his back, his phone, cell phone. Nothing.”
Hull said she was told by a detective back in September that her brother’s items should be released soon, but she said she never heard back.
LMPD told WAVE 3 News that “anything collected at a crime scene would be held as evidence until the case has been adjudicated.”
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Hull said she was told a few weeks ago a new detective would be assigned to the case but has still yet to get a name. When WAVE 3 News asked, LMPD could not confirm who was assigned to the case.
Nearly 2 months after Stewart’s death, the family is still heartbroken, frustrated, and said they won’t stop pushing for answers.
“Regardless of what is done for punishment, it will never be enough,” Yarbrough said. “But God will reckon with him.”
LMPD said the case is still open. Anyone who knows about the case should call the anonymous tip line at 574-LMPD.