Picture courtesy of the French family
Reidsville, NC -- As we look back on the big stories of 2012, you can't help but think about one that shocked a Triad community.
In February, Troy and LaDonna French were murdered at their home in the Bethany community in Rockingham County.
By all accounts, the couple was well-liked and deeply respected by people across the area.
LaDonna French worked for Shapiro Eye Care and Troy French worked for Duke Energy.
On Monday night, friends and relatives gathered in Reidsville to remember Troy and LaDonna French.
"We would all just sit around the table and laugh. And it was just healing to your bones. We really all miss that. But we're trying to do that again," said Kathy Hayes, sister of LaDonna French. "They were very well-loved, very much missed."
"It's still a nightmare. It's so unbelievable," said Nancy Moseley, mother of LaDonna French.
When a life-long family friend wanted to ring in 2013 with fireworks, and family members couldn't think of a better way to remember Troy and LaDonna.
"This is what I wanted to do to honor Troy and LaDonna," said Fred Sparks, who knew Troy French since childhood.
At midnight, they set off fireworks in their honor. Hunter French, Troy and LaDonna's son, put on a hard hat and lit the first set of fireworks.
"They'd be honored that this was happening. And as my sister would say, she wouldn't be able to believe it," said Hayes.
It's a way to remember, but also a reminder.
"I just wish that we would know why it happened. Because it was senseless," said Hayes.
"Even when they arrest someone, it will not be a closure," said Moseley. "Perhaps one day they'll have a conscience."
The couple left behind a son and daughter. Their case is still unsolved.
Investigators know the killer was a man, but his DNA doesn't match any DNA stored in any state or national databases.
If you know anything about the murders, call Rockingham County Crimestoppers at 336-349-9683.
WFMY News 2