WILMAR, Ark. (KTVE/KARD) — While justice is still being sought for 26-year-old Marquis Martin, those that knew him are trying do what they can to keep his memory alive.
Martin’s family and friends turned his trailer home into a community landmark to remember him and they’re calling it the ‘Marquis Martin Museum’.
“His presence is in here and it’s so heavy. I’m just wrapped in love.” his mother, Lakisha Arrington said. “His love is everywhere that’s what gets me through.”
The museum is filled with pictures and other special keepsakes that Arrington says took a few hours to put together.
“This shows what type of person he was and not only to his mother or me,” Pamela Lambert said. There was a lot of people that was affected by this.”
Martin was reported missing on February 9 and was found dead a month later in a creek.
Lambert, a paraprofessional in the Drew County School District, worked closely with Martin as he was in her classroom everyday. She saw firsthand just how much the kids loved him.
“After he became missing, every morning they would come in and ask where he was,” Lambert said. “There were some students that would just come in and cry.”
She recalled many times where Martin would dress up for the kids in a spider man outfit just to make them smile. He even comforted her many times, particularly when her sister passed away earlier this year.
Bonita Nolen also has a close relationship with Martin. She thought of him like a son, often times bringing him breakfast and cooking other meals for him. Many people said he loved to eat.
He always returned the favor though sometimes surprising others with good and random deeds.
“He had super powers that we didn’t know,” his mother said. “He was touching people’s lives.”
A mural was also painted on the back of the museum which friends say is an exact replica of some of Martin’s best features including his smile.
It took the renowned local artist, Julius Winston, a couple of days to paint the mural. He also felt Martin’s warm spirit as he drew his face out on the wall.
“He would say hey, make sure you get my hairline right. Make sure you get my gold teeth in and stuff like that,” Winston said. “I could just feel the presence of him saying you’re doing a good job.”
The Marquis Martin Museum is located in Wilmar. It all features picnic tables and a large screen where family and friends can play videos or even watch movies.
There’s a mailbox posted just outside of the museum for people to leave letters although Arrington keeps the museum itself open for those who may want to walk through the museum whenever they would like.