-- BY SARAH SARDER
On the anniversary of her death, the parents of a woman who was sexually assaulted and killed last spring are announcing a nonprofit founded in her honor Tuesday.
Launching the initiative at a Fort Worth church, Tracy and David Matheson said Project Beloved: The Molly Jane Mission aims to help sexual assault survivors and end rape culture.
"I want to change the world," the mother said. "I recognize that is a lofty goal, but that's where my heart is."
Tracy Matheson found her 22-year-old daughter strangled in her garage apartment near the Texas Christian University campus on April 10, 2017.
David Matheson found his wife inconsolable and surrounded by police outside their daughter's home.
"We prayed together, but we mostly cried," he said Tuesday. " [We] vowed that night that we're going to make something good come from this tragedy."
While "changing the conversation" is its defining mission, the nonprofit will launch three initiatives immediately in Tarrant County: funding a scholarship, making interview rooms more comfortable for victims, and providing what it's calling "beloved bundles," care packages for those who undergo rape kits that will include personal hygiene items and clothing.
The Mathesons sought to keep the focus on their daughter's legacy Tuesday and not the man accused of killing her, an ex-boyfriend she met while attending the University of Arkansas.
Reginald Kimbro is charged with capital murder in the death of Matheson and separately in the death of a Plano woman, Megan Getrum, who was found raped and slain days after Matheson's killing.
Kimbro faced two other rape accusations, one in Plano in 2012 and one in South Padre Island in 2014. Neither resulted in an indictment.
In a statement released in May 2017, the family expressed frustration with the justice system, saying Matheson’s and Getrum’s murders could have been avoided if the justice system had worked.
"Molly's death is not the end of the story," Tracy Matheson said.