IMPERIAL BEACH (CNS) - An outdoor education center named for two boys who were murdered nearly 20 years ago opened Monday in Imperial Beach, with their mothers on hand.
The Jonathan Sellers & Charlie Keever Outdoor Education Center, at the end of 13th Street, is touted as a place where youngsters can learn about the nearby South San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge, view wildlife through telescopes and climb rocks.
The center features a 30-foot-wide nautilus shell with pictures of the two slain South County boys.
"This is a beautiful place that will keep the memories of Jonathan and Charlie alive," said Milena Sellers Phillips, Jonathan's mother. "I can't wait to come back here and see children laughing and playing. I can't think of a better tribute to Jonathan and Charlie."
Jonathan and Charlie, then 13 and 9, were molested, tortured and strangled by Scott Thomas Erskine in March 1993 after he lured them into a homemade fort near the Otay River bed.
The boys disappeared after a bike ride and a jogger found their bodies two days later. DNA technology linked Erskine to the crime in 2001 while he was serving a 70-year prison term for raping a woman.
Erskine remains on death row at San Quentin State Prison.
"This is an incredible gathering place that honors the spirit and childhood friendship of Jonathan and Charlie," said county Supervisor Greg Cox.
Mayor Jerry Sanders was also among the about 200 people in attendance.