RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Loved ones are mourning the tragic death of a 20-year-old Henrico man, found near a park in Richmond’s Northside just days after he was reported missing.
Antajuan Hawkins was reported missing on Feb. 23. Around 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, his body was found in a wooded area outside of Pine Camp Cultural Arts and Community Center in the 4900 block of Old Brook Road.
On Tuesday, Feb. 28, 8News spoke with Hawkins’ friends and family who all shared stories of his positive personality and the example he set for others.
“Antajuan was the heart and soul of this group. He was a mediator, he was a friend, he was a brother,” said Amber Cook-Sims, a youth leader with the organization, Saving Our Youth. “Somebody took him away from us.”
On Sunday, Feb. 26, 20-year-old Randel Parker was charged with stabbing while committing a felony in connection to Hawkins’ death, according to the Richmond Police Department. More charges against Parker are reportedly still pending.
Family and friends told 8News that Hawkins was a devoted member of Saving Our Youth and — after seven years of playing an active role in the community — he had plans of playing college basketball.
“He was a young man just looking for someone to mentor him and to help him and I supported him,” Cook-Sims said. “I don’t know how we are going to move forward, how saving our youth is going to be without him.”
Hawkins’ death is still under investigation by the Richmond Police Department. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the department at 804-646-5112.