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New Placer County foundation helps support crime victims

Crime victims receive support from new Placer County foundation
Crime victims receive support from new Placer County foundation 02:35

PLACER COUNTY — Awareness and support are the goals behind a new nonprofit organization in Placer County that aims to help victims and survivors of crime.

The Placer Justice Foundation streamlines a lot of the services and resources from the county directly to people to help them cope.

Nothing prepares a mother to lose a daughter.

"My daughter went missing," said Debbie Boyd, the foundation's secretary. "Turned out she was kidnapped, murdered and her body hidden for 15 years."

In 2005, Christy Wilson was last seen leaving the Thunder Valley Casino with Mario Garcia. He would later be convicted and sentenced to prison.

However, it was more than just losing her daughter. Boyd experienced the trauma of a long investigation, countless court hearings and a trial.

"Here I was with a daughter that was missing, a no-body homicide case, and what we went through just in terms of trying to get support was unreal," she said.

Boyd said there is a significant gap in funding for victim and survivor services. That's where the Placer Justice Foundation comes in.

They offer:

  • grief counseling, which is lacking in many counties statewide.
  • guidance in navigating court proceedings, which can often be complex and intimidating.
  • financial aid to families traveling to Placer County for court hearings.
  • financial aid for wages lost for time taken off work.

"Oftentimes, there is support that is needed and the grief counseling," Boyd said. "That is a tremendous need."

Forensic neuropsychologist Dr. Judy Ho said victims of grief and trauma can develop symptoms that are debilitating and often require support.

"Sometimes, they're more likely to mistrust other people," Dr. Ho said. "Other times, they feel like they can't connect with other people the same, like they can't have loving feelings or they lost interest in things they used to love doing."

Dr. Ho said organizations like the Placer Justice Foundation can provide people with resources and services to help ease some of these symptoms.

"So having an organization like this and this support system is so crucial, so they know that they are not going through this by themselves," Dr. Ho said.

Boyd hopes this foundation will be the blueprint for other counties in the state to adopt something similar.

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