CLARKSVILLE, Tenn.—A family is mourning the death of a loved one despite not seeing or talking to him for years.
Metro police found the body of 54-year-old James "Mike" Clinard at a homeless camp in the woods near Fort Negley. Officials believe 39-year-old Kelly Grimm attacked Clinard and another man after the three had been eating and drinking together. Grimm remains in custody and is charged with criminal homicide and aggravated assault.
Clinard's family was shocked to hear he was homeless. They said they lost contact with him over the last couple of years and believe his lengthy battle with alcohol was to blame. They are trying to come to terms with his death.
"It's just hard going back and forth with emotions," said his sister Sandra Mickle, " He's my brother and I love him very much. How could someone do something like that? "
"To know this man I had been married to was brutally killed broke my heart," said his ex-wife Sandy Abbott, "he was a wonderful human being. The world has lost someone special."
Family members said Clinard fell into hard times, but was a good person.
"He had a good heart," said his father James Clinard, " He would do anything for anybody, that is the kind of person he was."
The family is grieving by supporting each other and reminiscing about the good times. They wish they could have done more to help Mike.
"There is no reason why he should have been homeless," said James Clinard, "I don't know why he didn't stay in communication with us."
They plan to hold a small memorial service for Clinard at Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Clarksville. Visitation will be Apr. 1 from 4-5 p.m. for family members and 5-7 p.m. for the public. The funeral will be held Apr. 2 at 11 a.m.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:04 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:04:23 GMT
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