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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Our community was shocked last week as news of Whitney Heichel went from missing to murdered.  She was only 21, a newlywed.
This does not happen here…maybe across town, but not right next door!  When the news first came out, my prayers were that they would find her quickly.  Then as the days slipped by and it started looking more and more like things were not going to turn out positive, I began praying that if they didn't find her alive, that it would not be her husband who had done it.  He had been the last person to see her early that morning as she left for work at a nearby Starbucks.  Too often, that is the case, they just seemed like such a wholesome young couple.  I didn't want that image shattered. But then I realized, if not the husband…then who?  Was there a murderer walking around in our community?  Would there be more victims?  Sadly, the news came that her body was found, and thankfully, her murderer was not the husband, but a man named Jonathan Holt, from her apartment complex.  It is all such a tragedy!    I continue praying for her husband, her parents, brothers and sisters, her other family members, her friends, her church, for what they have to live with, the images, the regrets, the ‘if onlys’, for healing.
I also pray for the family of Jonathan Holt. He is 24, has a wife and parents and family and neighbors too. They also have lost a family member.  They will need much love and care through this time too.  They will have to not only live with the grief and shock, they will also have to cope with the shame and guilt of it forever.
 They are victims of this too.
A memorial site is located at the Starbucks where she worked.  I stopped past today and took a photo. I can’t stop thinking about it.  Maybe it is the mother in me. I remember watching her Mother plead for help on the news when they first began searching for her.  Her tears were heart wrenching. Her grief laid out in public as she wrapped her arms around her son-in-law and sobbed with him.  She was so brave to speak, when he could not, she continued on as any mother would do to protect and fight for her child.
Once again, we are reminded that life is so precious and that we need to be careful to make the most of what we have now, to love those around us while we have them.