GREENVILLE, SC – It was a break in a 30-year old case that shocked the Upstate community.
Greenville Police announced Thursday that they arrested the woman believed to be the mother of Julie Valentine, Brook Graham, 53, and charged her with homicide by neglect after the infant child was found dead in field on February 13th, 1990.
For one Upstate non-profit, the infant’s legacy was never lost.
In fact, it has lived on and been used to inspire hope in others.
“By helping people to heal and move through unimaginable experiences, we’re allowing her life and her legacy to live on through others,” said Shauna Galloway-Williams, Executive Director of The Julie Valentine Center.
Since the arrest announcement Thursday, Galloway-Williams said a number of people have called the center, which offers services to victims of child abuse and sexual assault, asking to volunteer.
“The awareness of this will again benefit us in so many ways.”
Ever since The Julie Valentine Center adopted it’s new name in 2011, it has embraced hope; hope that the case would be solved, and hope for those brave enough to walk in and ask for help, according to Galloway-Williams.
“It really breathed new life into our center. It gave us meaning and purpose from the time that you say our name and walk through the doors, in a way that we had never had before.”
Since Julie Valentine’s legacy was adopted by the center, Galloway-Williams said they have more than doubled their outreach, tripled staff in several departments and raised more than $900,000 through their annual fundraisers.
As the non-profit moves to update their marketing videos and give the unsolved cold case some form of closure, now, they believe, is the time to finally grieve.
The Julie Valentine Center is scheduled to hold a vigil on Wednesday night at the infant’s gravestone at Woodlawn Memorial Park.