Matthew A. Kloer
"Matt"
17 Years Old

May 29, 1963 to August 3, 1980

Matthew was our third child of four, and second son, a bouncing baby boy with heavenly blue eyes and white hair. From a toddler age he was an adventurer, curious about everything, and had an intense love for animals and the out-of-doors.

All of his life he had a happy, outgoing attitude and many friends, young and old. Unfortunately, he trusted everyone, was vulnerable, easily influenced, seeing no evil in anyone, especially his peers. This very fact got him into trouble several times for which he had to be firmly disciplined. It was always after the fact that he could see how he'd been used or enticed by the wrong doing of others.

He was raised in Sunday School and Church, took part in youth activities, created his own beautiful prayers. Before he was 10 years old, he repeatedly asked to be water-baptised and wanted to ask Jesus into his heart to be his savior. On Easter Sunday in 1973, he and his younger brother took these vows and committed their lives to Christ and were baptized.

Matt always said he felt so close to God in nature. Besides the Bible, some of his favorite books were "My Side of the Mountain", "Born Free", and "Living Free". He had numerous articles on "Surviving in the Wild", "Building Your Own Cabin", and "Camping", and for many years subscribed to the "Ranger Rick" magazine.

He was a collector of sea shells, rocks, coins, animal skins and Indian artifacts. He loved to hunt, fish, trap, target-shoot with his dad, go dirt biking and motor cycle riding. He was a creative artist and sketcher, mostly of nature and animals and always had a heart for homeless cats and dogs, motherless bunnies, and injured birds.

He was a favorite of younger children, taking time to play with them, laugh and have fun. He enjoyed hours in our treehouse, wading the creeks, swimming and boating.

He was active in Cub Scouts, Farm and Youth Baseball Leagues, neighborhood basketball, and won 1st place in our county wide Cross Country Meet. He had a radiant smile and his white-blonde hair stuck out under the baseball caps he always wore backwards.

At age 16 and 1/2, he overcame severe complications from a motorcycle accident that broke his back and kept him homebound for several months. During this time, as he was being tutored for his Sophomore classes, he enrolled in a correspondence course on "Wildlife and Forestry" with the desire to be a Forest Ranger. He was killed before he could complete that course.

Our Matt was loving and affectionate, generous to a fault, a daydreamer, a helper to the downtrodden and needy. He loved his family and his ever-faithful collie dog. In a tribute to him after his death, his grandfather wrote, "My grandson marched to a different drum. He was above and beyond this realm".

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

On a Sunday evening, Matt was called away from his job on a telephone hoax, that a close friend had been injured and was hospitalized.

According to co-workers and detectives, he was blackmailed into delivering a verbal message to a jail prisoner. At that time, anyone could walk freely onto the county jail grounds and speak with those behind bars.

The sheriff had been alerted by phone of a "possible" jail-break and gave orders to a turnkey to shoot. Matt was shot in the back with a 12 gauge shotgun, with 9 of those shells piercing his body.

There was no warning call to halt, no warning shot fired into the air. Because of a previously broken back, Matt had steel rods in his spine and could not run. No weapon of any kind was ever found on him nor any threatening not to indicate a jail-break.

He lay bleeding for 30 minutes before being taken to the hospital where he died 15 minutes later.

Out of a grand jury investigation came three indictments with court trials in three different towns. Every person involved was acquitted, with only one giving two months time in a correctional facility. There appears to have been, and still is, a large cover-up involving many people.

We filed a civil lawsuit after the above court trials ended, but just before it was to go to federal court, it was dismissed due to a new Supreme Court ruling that our attorneys were not aware of.

We can only pray that one day God will expose the truth and bring justice.

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Matthew Kloer