Mark Christian Gardner
24 Years Old

July 11, 1980 to June 3, 2005

Mark was born July 11,1980. Mark loved “life!” I raised Mark all by myself. I guided him to learn to have respect for his elders. Mark loved to play football. He was in little league and in boy scouts. He made boxcars and during the races Mark won over 5 trophies. Mark’s favorite foods were orange chicken, mac & cheese, sweet potatoes, bar-b-q ribs and he loved Ki-wi.(smile) He loved music! He wanted to write poetry. Mark was very good with electronics. He wanted to go to school to become an electrical engineer. He loved to buy the latest styles in clothing and tennis shoes. He would keep up with the newest NIKE’s! Every Mother’s Day celebration he would go to Kay Jewelers and buy me a gift. Once he purchased my birthstone Ruby red earrings. Mark loved family! He would light up when the family would have summer picnics and cookouts in the backyard. Mark loved to help me with my plants and flower arrangements. He went out of his way the Valentine’s Day of 2003. We rented a space and Mark rented a UHaul truck so that I could haul all the balloons, floral arrangements and teddy bears, etc.!(smile) He loved to see me create designs! He assisted me by being my instructor! (smile) Mark made a lot of friends at school. When he became a young man he had so many people who really loved to work with him. Many of the people I never met. The day of his funeral there was standing room only, no more seats available and not a “dry eye” in the room. I never knew Mark touched so many hearts! In elementary school the Principal, Jack Wilson, was Mark’s mentor, and scout leader. Mark was very good in math! He loved cars. He worked hard to purchase a Lexus ‘98 model back in 2005, the year he was murdered. Mark had his first summer job at the age of 14 yrs. old. He always wanted to be independent and not rely on others. He worked as a forklift operator for the Rite Aid Corp. in Harford Co. MD. I told him, taught and encouraged him to make his own money. After his first job at the age of 14 yrs old he never gave up and worked hard for a living. Unfortunately, the girl that he liked was 14 and Mark was 18 at the time. Her mother signed for her daughter to marry my son. Her mother no longer wanted to raise her. Mark was not ready to be a husband, but he fell in love with his wife and worked hard to keep his marriage. He would give Christina the shirt off his back. Mark died of a broken heart! When she turned 21 years old she threw the wedding ring at Mark and kicked him out of the apartment. She lied and said that Mark was abusive to her. He died of a broken heart because he could not be with his two son’s that he loved so much. Mark also loved to work with handicapped children, his heart went out to them. The superintendent wrote a beautiful thank you letter to Mark for his love and compassion for the kids. Mark left behind two beautiful sons! Mark was able to bond with his sons Mark Jr. & Elias one on one before he left this world. I was so happy he got to spend time with them.

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

The day that Mark was murdered was June 3, 2005. I received a phone call from one of Mark’s cousin’s on his father’s side. It was late, around 11:30 - 12:00 pm on June 2nd. He called asking if I knew where Mark’s wife Christina was. I told him that I didn’t know. He kept phoning me. Then I said that she no longer wants anything to do with Mark, why are you looking for her? Then he told my oldest sister Barbara that Mark was in the hospital and that he was fighting for his life. I phoned the hospital and they told me that I had to get there right away. I tried to get a cab. But none ever came. My oldest sister’s boyfriend drove me to the hospital from Baltimore County to the city - Union Memorial Hospital. When I got there, the relatives from Mark’s father’s side of the family was there. They put us in a little closed space. One of Mark’s uncles said to me, “Linda, Mark didn’t make it.” I said “what are you talking about –Mark didn’t make it”? I fell on my behind! My sister and her boyfriend had to pick me up off the floor. Then I couldn’t breathe! I had to leave the small room. The surgeon came down and talked with me. He told me that my son was shot in the back 4 times, and the bullet that hit his liver shattered it beyond repair. He said the other 3 bullets he could get, but the one that hit his liver was beyond repair and that Mark bled out in his chest. It is now a cold case, and on June 3, 2011 it will be 6 years.

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Mark Gardner