DYER COUNTY, Tenn. — A Dyersburg family is grieving and seeking answers after losing their loved one.
They say 18-year-old Deronte Herbert was killed right before the weekend he planned to attend prom.
"I've been sleeping in his room for the first two days just wishing he would say get out," the victim's mother, Fameka Herbert, said. "He told me, 'Mom, I will be back.' He never came back."
Herbert says her teenage son Deronte was murdered on Bean Mill Road Thursday.
"He wasn't out to harm anyone. He didn't deserve it," Deronte’s Cousin, Rekeya Herbert said.
Deronte was found lying near his new car that he started driving in March.
"I had just talked to him before he left home that day. I told him to be careful. We talked about the bible and everything," his mother said.
Since Deronte grew up in church, his mother says conversations about prayer and belief were nothing out of the ordinary.
His family says he was a young man of God who loved to dance and rap.
They say he was always the life of the party.
While keeping faith in their hearts, Deronte's family says they forgive whoever did this.
As they seek justice, they say they are putting the process in God's hands.
"I hope that stays on your conscious. I hope it eats you up, so you can come forward and ask for forgiveness. That's the most important thing you need to do," Herbert said.
Deronte has a 10-year-old brother who he leaves behind. His mother says he is trying to cope with losing him.
She said their family is very close and Deronte was her best friend.
”I can’t eat, I can’t sleep,” she said.