“Hi guys, sorry for not posting in quite a while now,” Neil Sen says at the beginning of the video and takes a deep breath.
For Neil and his family, it has been an impossible, unbelievable month, ever since the morning of August 1 when his mother, Sarmistha Sen, left for her usual morning jog and never returned. After a couple of hours of worry, the Sen family drove to her normal jogging route, Chisholm Trail, to search for her and found it swarming with police.
On August 24, twelve-year-old Neil spoke to his followers on his personal channel, MyLifeAsNeil, about the tragedy that befell his family and posted a memorial video for his mother.
Sarmistha was killed in a random act of violence while on her morning jog. Police arrested 29-year old Bakari Moncrief, a suspect in a burglary committed that same Saturday morning only about 100 yards from where Sarmistha ran. At first he was only named as a person of interest in Sarmistha’s murder but was later charged with her murder.
According to her CaringBridge page, Sarmistha was born on January 2, 1977 in Sindri, India. She and her husband, Arindam Roy, moved to Plano in 2004. Most of her career was devoted to cancer research. The couple has two children, Neil and Ryan, who is 6.
“Sarmistha lived a free and fearless life inspiring many with her infectious energy and carefree smile,” the page reads. “Sarmistha was an avid runner, gardener and a great cook. She practiced healthy mindful living and she could cook extremely healthy food that tasted amazingly good. She was a trained singer of Indian classical music and loved to teach and perform music. She was passionate about cancer care and was a lifelong supporter of cancer research.”
Her GoFundMe page will give to charities that she cared about such as Cancer Awareness, Cancer research and protection of the environment.
In his video, Neil says that his mother didn’t die in vain. The GoFundMe page started in her memory has raised over $47,000 for causes that were dear to her, such as cancer awareness, research, and protection of the environment. Over 1,000 running shoes have been donated in her name to nonprofit Trusted World.
“My mom was a great person,” Neil says. “A great mother, a great wife, a great everything, a great friend to everyone in need.”
"Please like this video," he says before the memorial begins. “Please like it, not for me but for my mom.”