Blayne had just moved here about a year ago for work. Even more recently, he took over guardianship of his birth brother and brought him to live here too. Together, they were working to become a family, but their time was cut short.
"He said, 'I love you,' and that was the last text I got from him."
Two hours later, Cherri Benefield got the call her only son was dead.
"Devastating. I was, screaming and yelling, 'not my son, he's my only one.' Then, I get no wedding, no grand-babies. It's not fair. They killed him for less than $15."
When Blayne was just 2-months old, he was adopted into the Benefield family. They spent more than 20-years making memories.
"We have thousands of pictures of him growing up."
But, Blayne never forgot about his birth family. His little brothers and sisters have grown up homeless at times and struggling to make it.
"He was trying to take care of his family in Danville and help them out."
About a month ago, he got guardianship of his 13-year old brother.
"He got Malachi in school over at Farmer City. Loving going to school He's in football. Doing very good. Got his homework up. He's making A's."
He was thinking about doing the same for the rest of his siblings.
"That's Blayne. That's what he does. He doesn't really get too upset. He deals with things."
Now the Benefield's are trying to keep that spirit alive. Instead of flowers for Blayne's funeral, they're asking for donations to put toward his birth family in hopes they can buy a home.
"That way, he can still be helping his family."
You can donate to the Blayne Benefield Family Fund at the University of Illinois Employees Credit Union.
Two men have been arrested in connection to Blayne's death.
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