CRESTWOOD, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It may look like any other birthday party with family celebrating with cake while singing "Happy Birthday," but this is the third year that Ryan Kinnion family has celebrated without him.
"The last thing he said to me was, 'Mom, I'm going out but I'll be back because I'm going to go to church with you in the morning,'" Osonna Shephard, Kinnion's mother, said. "And then the morning never came for him."
Shephard still remembers the day - Sept. 15, 2014. That was the day her son was taken from her.
"I found out on a Monday, and every Monday, I relive the same nightmare, getting a knock on my door telling me I need to get to the hospital because it's not looking well," she said.
"Feel like he'd just walk in the door any day, just like he ain't gone," Alyssa Ferman, Kinnion's sister, said.
Kinnion was found injured on River Road and later died from what the coroner ruled as a head injury. Three years later, his family says no one has been charged for his death, and while time may have passed, their quest for answers has not slowed down.
"I asked the detective myself, I said if it was your child, if it was someone who meant something to you, would it be a cold case?" Shephard said.
"It's not going to heal the broken wounds that we've got, but it is going to give us some type of peace," Ferman said.
This Saturday, just as they've done for the past three years, family gathered at Shephard's home to celebrate Kinnion's birthday, remembering a son, a brother and a friend they say was unjustly taken from them.
"He was a good young man," Shephard said. "He believed in 'yes ma'am' and 'no ma'am' and helping others."
"If he was here, the life of the party, you would know he's here," Ferman said.
The smiles and laughter hide a pain that may never fully heal, but it is their way of remembering the Ryan they knew and to let him know they won't stop until they find justice.
"He's smiling down knowing he hasn't been forgotten, that we haven't let his memory die," Shephard said.
Kinnion's family is asking anyone with information to contact police.