Murder Victim's Father Hopes Tragedy Provides Lesson


CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- "I said, 'dad loves ya,' and I did tell her, 'Branda, if you don't get off the streets you are gonna die,'" said Bruce Basham.

It's a conversation that will forever be a memory for Basham .. one he had just hours before his daughter Branda was gunned down on Charleston's west side.

Growing up, Branda was a sweet, innocent girl who loved horseback riding and mathematics.

She was raised in a church and her passion was helping others.

"If she had five dollars, she'd give you five dollars," said her father Bruce. "If she was out shopping and saw something you liked; she'd pick it up for ya."

Then, at age 16, there was a change.

"It went down that path of people you didn't really know that well and you could question, 'Branda, who is this?' and you may get a vague answer," said Bruce.

It's every parent's struggle, respecting privacy while continuing to help nurture.

At age 20, Branda moved out, where life continued to spiral out of control, culminating with a prostitution-related arrest last month.

This sad storyline is one Mr. Basham wants other parents to recognize, and most importantly, learn from.

'If it's the behavioral change, money, different hours; those are the subtle things that start," said Basham.

With police putting this case as their top priority, Mr. Basham is preparing himself for eventually coming face to face with his daughter's killer.

While that person took everything from him, in return he'll give them love, because that's what Branda would have wanted.

"Am I heartbroken and sick? Yes, yes I am," said Basham, "but I can't live my life in hate either."


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