Community comes together to remember slain Waynesville teen

Waynesville community gathers for Justin Back

WAYNESVILLE, OH (FOX19) - It's a crime that stunned a small Tri-State community. Eighteen-year-old Justin Back was murdered on Tuesday night.

On Friday, friends and family came together to remember his life.

"I'm so very proud that God allowed us to have him as long as we had because he was just full of joy," says Justin's mother.

Justin Back's mother spoke to dozens of friends and family of the Waynesville community. Several shared memories they had throughout Justin's 18-years.

"He was an outstanding person and he was one of those people you could just go up and talk to. He's definitely by far the greatest guy I graduated with at Waynesville," explains Maricle Ryan.

Back was set to leave for the Navy in about a week. It was the next step in his life that many wish he could have experienced.

"He definitely had commitment and that's one of the things about the military. We train and we teach honor, courage, and commitment and he was every bit of that," explains First Class Petty Officer Alexander Lennon

Lennon says although Back wasn't officially a member of the Navy yet, he'll always be a part of their family.

"Without people like Justin, this country would not be as strong as it is. So we were happy to have had him part of our family to keep this country strong," says Lennon.

Friday night many described Justin as fun-loving, but quiet, outrageously funny, but polite young man. The community says it's about sticking together to make it through this heartbreaking time.

"I know that he's looking down from heaven right now and heaven's just a little bit brighter because he's up there now. We miss him terribly but we'll see him again," says Justin's mother.

Next week, the high school is selling memory bracelets in Justin's honor and the money will go towards a memorial fund.

Funeral arrangements will be announced in the next couple days.

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