Baltimore, MD

A Baltimore Mother Lost All Three Of Her Sons To City Violence

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Travis Wendell BurleyThe Charley Project

19-year old Travis Burley, nicknamed Phat Harold, was one of three brothers residing in Baltimore, Maryland.

Their mother, then 53-year old Elenora McCutcheon, worked as a janitor.

Eleanor, a quiet woman, struggled to raise her sons as a single mother, reports The Baltimore Sun.

Unfortunately, two of those siblings were murdered in separate incidents.

On June 10, 1990, 24-year old David was shot three times in West Baltimore. His homicide remains unsolved.

On August 24, 1996, 27-year old Kevin was killed in a gun battle.

His assailant died in the battle, as well.

Both homicides occurred shortly after each brother's release from prison, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Eleanor's relatives do not understand why her sons headed down a path that led to prison and murder, reports The Baltimore Sun.

Her relatives said she was a good mother who cared about her sons, she has no criminal record, and she never used drugs or drank.

The Baltimore Sun reports Eleanor spent time taking her sons to the zoo, the beach, playing basketball with them, and helping them with their homework. As they became older and began to change, she constantly warned them they would end up in "jail or the grave", reports the news outlet.

"She cared so much," said McCutcheon's sister, Estoria, reports The Baltimore Sun. "There are a lot of children of parents who don't care. Then, when our children get to hanging out with don't-care children, it rubs off. It doesn't mean you were a bad mother. We're not sure what happened."

Travis lived in a poverty-stricken area of South Baltimore. The young man dropped out of Southern High School and was arrested for the first time at sixteen years old.

He joined a gang, the Lexington Terrace Boys.

The Lexington Terrace Boys were known for violence and drugs in West Baltimore. Authorities believe they were responsible for more than forty shootings and nine deaths in five years reported The Charley Project.

On April 1, 2002, Travis left his mother's house in the 2900 block of Southland Avenue in a green minivan.

It would be the last time Eleanor saw her son.

According to The Charley Project, Travis was with his cousin, Michael Lafayette Taylor. Michael was also a member of the Lexington Terrace Boys.

The Charley Project reports that Travis and Michael disagreed about a .44 caliber revolver. Michael used the gun to commit two homicides and wanted Travis to get rid of the weapon. Travis refused, and this angered his cousin Michael.

During the timeframe of April 1- April 5, authorities discovered a house on North Caroline Street in Baltimore with blood spatters on the walls and floors with bloody footprints.

On April 5, 2002, the house was set on fire, four days after the disappearance of Travis.

Authorities now believe Travis was murdered there, according to the Charley Project.

Michael was charged with the murder of his cousin and five other gang-related murders in 2002.

He was convicted on all charges in 2004 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Travis Burley's remains have never been located.

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