Family hopes Albany approves tree to honor slain loved one

ALBANY – A local woman and her family are trying to make something good come out of a terrible act of violence. They’re hoping the city of Albany will help them.

It happened 17 years ago, but all the emotions come rushing back when Martha Royal remembers the day of her mom’s funeral.

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"I stood up and I said to my mother, ‘I thank you. I thank you for being my mother, and I’m grateful for being your daughter,’" said Royal. "And I kissed my mom…and that was the last time I saw my mom."

She remembers the violent way she died. It was 2004 and her mom Dorothy Mae Royal was preparing to go fishing, something she loved to do.

First, she needed to pick up snacks and was walking through Lincoln Park in Albany on the way to the store.

It was then that police say she encountered former boxer Jo-El Scott. Police say Scott murdered and sexually abused Royal.

Now Royal’s family is trying to turn terrible memories into a memorial. They want Albany City Hall to allow the planting of a tree in memory of their mom in the same park where Royal died.

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Her daughter says they contacted City Hall three months ago, but never heard back.

NewsChannel 13 also contacted them. They called us back and we returned the call. Right now, we hope to hear from them and we will keep you posted.