FORT WORTH, Texas - The parents of 22-year-old Molly Matheson marked the anniversary of her death with the creation of a new charity that will focus on changing rape culture.
Matheson was raped and killed in her apartment near the TCU campus last April. Reginald Kimbro was later arrested for her murder, as well as the murder of Megan Getrum. Getrum was attacked and raped at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano four days after Matheson's death. Getrum's body was dumped in Lake Ray Hubbard.
David and Tracy Matheson spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday about Molly's rape and murder a year ago.
“Our house has always been full of music and laughter and conversation so those quiet moments are difficult,” David Matheson said.
They want to turn a somber occasion into a time of hope.
“It's been rough, but there have been moments of light and moments of joy,” Tracy Matheson said.
The couple announced the launch of Project Beloved: The Molly Jane Mission, focusing on helping sexual assault survivors.
Project Beloved has three initiatives: provide clothes for sexual assault victims whose garments are confiscated after a forensic exam, set up interview rooms with comfortable seating where victims can feel at ease, award scholarships in Molly's name to students majoring in social work.
Tracy decided on the name Project Beloved after a tattoo she learned Molly had after she passed away. Now she carries the same tattoo on her right wrist, a reminder of a beautiful life lived and the work yet to be done.
“It's not going to happen easily and it's not going to happen quickly but I got some years left and I plan to spend the rest of them bringing light to the situation,” Tracy Matheson.
Tracy found her 22-year-old daughter strangled in her garage apartment near TCU on April 10, 2017.
“As I drove to Molly's apartment to check on why she had not shown up for work, the furthest thing from my mind was that she could be dead,” Tracy Matheson said.
Kimbro is still awaiting a capital murder trial for Matheson’s death.
Police eventually zeroed in on Kimbro -- someone Molly briefly dated in 2014 while both were students at the University of Arkansas. Investigators say DNA evidence linked Kimbro to the rapes and murders of Molly Matheson and Getrum.
Detectives also learned that Kimbro was accused of raping other women, including a woman in Plano in 2012 and a woman in South Padre Island in 2014. But he didn’t face trail in either case because the first woman didn’t want to prosecute and a grand jury declined to indict him in the second case.