A mother and her son have decided to turn the decades-old suspicious death of their nine-month-old son and brother into a legacy to help other families going through similar experiences.

Brenda Crawford and Eric Carter-Landin, Jacob Landin’s mother and brother, remember him as a happy baby with a wild side.

“He loved music and he loved to pull out the drawer of silverware, and it would fly everywhere, he thought it was the most hilarious thing, he would just laugh and laugh. He laughed just like Eddie Murphy,” Crawford said.

She said Jacob would have turned 38 this July.

Earlier this year, the New Mexico Attorney General’s office declined to reopen the case of Socorro baby, Jacob Landin, who died on April 9, 1987, while under the care of his mother’s then boyfriend. Despite being rejected again, Crawford and Eric Carter-Landin refuse to give up.

“They said they couldn’t do anything because they didn’t have enough proof,” Crawford said. “It felt like a slap in the face after 37 freaking years that you’re waiting for justice.”

Crawford and her son, Carter-Landin, who was only five when his brother died, said that the roadblocks they’ve faced over the 30 plus years, have only made them push harder for answers. They believe the evidence they have is overwhelming and have no intention of giving up the fight for justice for Jacob and other children like him.

“I don’t care what they say, because there is going to be another attorney general, there’s going to be other people to talk to,” Carter-Landin said. “They tried to sweep it under the rug but I’m not going to let that happen.”

Not willing to give up hope, Crawford and Carter-Landin started a non-profit called, Angels’ Voices Silenced No More, which offers financial services and serves as a beacon of hope and resilience for families like theirs.

Carter-Landin serves at the president and Crawford as a board member.

Jacob’s mom, Brenda Crawford, holds a photo collage of her son.

“The work that my mom and I are doing with Angels Voices Silence No More, is helping families that are fighting for justice, giving them access to resources, not just financial but actual resources to help them get then through it and help them advocate for their loved ones,” Carter-Landin said. “My mom and I have turned our tragedy into purpose and into making sure that no other family in New Mexico has to go through what we went through.”

“We care about the kids, not just Jacob, all the kids, and we want to help people not to go through what we went through,” Brenda said. “It’s like you’re stuck, you can’t get justice, you can’t sleep, you can’t do anything, it’s just torture.”

Carter-Landin started a podcast called “True Consequences” that he uses as a platform for victims’ families to be heard and he has become a fierce advocate for children who have been abused and murdered in New Mexico.

“I wanted to give a voice to people like my mom and me who really never had that voice. We had our voice taken from us and we were not only violated by our abuser, but also violated by the state,” Carter- Landin said. “I know I point out what’s wrong with New Mexico, but that’s because I love it, I love this state with all my heart, and I know that in Socorro there are other people that are dealing with domestic violence and child abuse.”

He said that with “True Consequences” he realized that he was expecting other families to tell their story, but he wasn’t willing to tell his.

“So, I asked my mom if she would go on the show with me, it was an emotional conversation and that was the first time we had ever talked about it together like that, so what you’re hearing is in real time us processing this together for the first time,” Carter Landin said.

Once he started sharing his story, he collaborated with other podcasters and has told Jacob’s story all over the world. Carter-Landin said they now have international supporters of justice for Jacob.

“That is the beautiful thing that came of this, the advocacy conferences that I’m starting with my friends from the ‘Navigating Advocacy’ podcast which is going to be traveling around the country helping families around the country, helping families,” Carter- Landin said.

Crawford and Carter-Landin hope that Jacob’s story can help other families.

“I have faith that God is going to get us through it and we’re going to get justice, no matter what. They can tell me ‘no’ all day long and I’m still going to get louder and louder,” Crawford said.

For more information please visit: www.angelsvoicesnm.org and www.trueconsequences.com

Jessica Carranza Pino, Editor