Months after her daughter Heather Heyer was killed by a neo-Nazi during the protests against the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA, Susan Bro has admitted that she still needs to keep Heyer’s grave hidden from violent white supremacists.
Calling the secret, undisclosed site where Heyer’s ashes are kept “completely protected,” Bro said in an interview with The Daily Beast on Thursday that hiding her daughter’s remains is as much about protecting cemetery workers from the threat of violence as it is about shielding her family from further trauma and harm.
“It’s a symptom of hate in society that you should have to protect your child’s grave, for Pete’s sake,” Bro said. “So, I’m protecting my child now.”
Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal, died in early August after neo-Nazi activist James Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of protesters following the white nationalist hate rally. Originally facing charges of second degree murder, Fields’ charges were upgraded to first degree homicide during a preliminary court hearing on Thursday.
In the months since Heyer’s death, Bro became a persistent voice against the hatred that claimed her daughter’s life, saying during Heather’s funeral: “They tried to kill my child to shut her up. Well guess what, you just magnified her.”
Bro has since launched a foundation bearing Heather’s name which seeks to promote tolerance and social justice.