Families grieving loss come together for holidays - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Families grieving loss come together for holidays

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

For every good memory made over the holidays, there's a painful one for families grieving a loss, especially because of a murder.

No matter how much time has passed, families will tell you it feels fresh.

Tonight marks another round of a special tradition in Nashville where those linked by crime celebrate their season to remember.

This is a tough group to belong to, but there is even a tougher group here.

A group within the group where it's even more painful.

Gail Chilton has made a new ornament this year and she will tell you she thinks it turned out great.

"It's the same picture," said Chilton. "Looks like a bell, outlined. It turned out great."

Melissa Chilton and Tiffany Campbell were murdered in 1996 at an exotic tanning bed shop. The crime scene was blundered through, contaminated by firefighters and police, basically ruined.

So the case has taken a rough turn and been unsolved for 16 years.

"It's like a thorn in your side. It never goes away," said Chilton. "It calms down some, but two or three times a year, her birthday, the anniversary and Christmas, it gets worse."

An unsolved murder never stops gnawing, but now, and Chilton can't talk about it, there are fresh leads. Police feel that they are closer than they have ever been to solving the murder of the young girls. In fact Chilton feels they are now just one phone call away.

"It wouldn't take much," said Chilton. "If we get a conviction, nobody needs to be afraid anymore."

Copyright 2012 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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