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Crime victims honored at annual brick-laying ceremony


Crime victims honored at annual brick-laying ceremony
at the Memorial Garden in Phelps Grove Park in Springfield on April11, 2016.
Scenes at the Memorial Garden in Phelps Grove Park Leslie North points heavenward to recognize her murdered A crowd was gathered at the Memorial Garden in Phelps at the Memorial Garden in Phelps Grove Park in Springfield4 of 8 at the Memorial Garden in Phelps Grove Park in Springfield A Springfield Police Officer holds the flag at the Nell Jersak dedicated a brick to her Father Ollie Crosswhite Charlie Rikard dedicated a brick to his horse

Linda Regan, development director at the Child Advocacy Center in Springfield, summed up Monday evening’s event in two words: sad and wonderful.

Regan was one of 12 presenters Monday at the annual brick-laying ceremony at the Victims Memorial Garden in Phelps Grove Park.

Twenty new engraved bricks were added to the garden to honor victims of violent crimes, their families and those who serve them in the Springfield community.

More than 100 people attended the 24th annual ceremony, which is part of National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.

Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott dedicated bricks to all of the local law enforcement officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

With some family members of the deceased in attendance, Arnott said the bricks meant a lot to him.

A crowd was gathered at the Memorial Garden in Phelps

“It’s an honor to be able to represent these officers and the sheriff,” Arnott said. “I’m sorry it’s taken this long to recognize this publicly.”

Todd Myers, Greene County chief assistant prosecutor, presented a brick in honor of Shaun and Mark Staudte who died in 2012 after being poisoned with antifreeze.

Diane and Rachel Staudte, Mark’s wife and daughter, have pleaded guilty to murder and received life sentences for poisoning the men.

Myers said Diane Staudte did not organize proper memorials for the victims when they died. He said he hopes the brick will provide some comfort for the family.
Myers said Diane Staudte did not organize proper memorials for the victims when they died. He said he hopes the brick will provide some comfort for the family.

Leslie North points heavenward to recognize her murderedBuy Photo
Leslie North points heavenward to recognize her murdered son Weston as she stands with her husband Wesley in the Memorial Garden in Phelps Grove Park in Springfield on April 11, 2016. (Photo: Bruce E Stidham/News-Leader)
“Although she tried to erase them from her life, we have chosen not to erase them from our memories,” Myers said.

Other bricks Monday were dedicated to victims of homicide, victims of drunken driving crashes, victims of assaults, long-time community volunteers and police detectives.

The Rev. Saehee Duran, chaplain with the Springfield Police Department, closed Monday’s event with a prayer in which she applauded the community for joining together to support the names.

http://www.news-leader.com/story/news/crime/2016/04/11/crime-victims-honored-annual-brick-laying-ceremony/82897764/

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