Joey, now 42 years old 250 lbs. and 5’8” has always been a special member of our family. A loving and giving brother, uncle, cousin, nephew, son - who, with a shy smile and a strong hug, was all about family. We protected him because we knew, with his mental disability, life might be cruel. But on September 6, 2014, we were unable to protect him any longer. With his new car – a bright red, 4 door 2009 Ford Focus he drove to Washougal WA from his home in Portland, OR just to see how it would ride. He didn’t return home that Saturday and we called in a Missing Person’s report. He had contact with the Skamania County Police on Sunday, where they gave him gas, a jump start and pointed him in the right direction for home. He has not been seen since. He needs medication for several issues, but most importantly for paranoia and schizophrenia. The family is frantic, desperate and deeply worried as to his safety. The authorities are not getting leads and the media is not interested in broadcasting his story. We need to keep his name active until he comes home.
I cannot think of a better month than November to thank all of our members, businesses, friends, family members and organizations for helping make our “National Day of Remembrance” on September 25, 2014 such an outstanding day. It takes all of us and devoted volunteers to put on such a special day.
First of all, we would like to thank the City of Oregon City. Without their support, we would not be able to hold such a celebration. They allowed their fantastic crew to set the grounds up in such a way that we could hold hundreds of visitors, have the chairs set up, flowers planted, the lawns manicured, tents set up in case it rained, and a speaker system. Their crew also directed traffic and helped clean up and take the chairs and tents back. They were a delight to work with.
Piper Mark Mullaney started the ceremony with “Amazing Grace” and set the tone for a remarkable day.
Sgt. Matt Pashcall and Sgt. Justin Young from the Oregon City Police Department presented the colors. For the sixth year, Anna-Marie Woods sang the “National Anthem”. Two of Anna-Marie’s classmates, Ashley Marie Pond and Miranda Diane Gaddis from Oregon City junior high school, were victims of homicide.
John Foote, Clackamas County District Attorney, welcomed the audience to Clackamas County and thanked all who attended. Co-Chapter Leader Delores Cook welcomed attendees from Washington State. Member Angie Foster sang a song she wrote in memory of her beloved baby son, Brian Foster. It was Angie’s first time in front of a large audience with this song and she truly “melted our heats”.
Our keynote speaker was Clatsop County District Attorney, Josh Morquis. He did an outstanding job and kept the audience’s interest. District Attorney Morquis speaks all over the United States and has done incredible work for victims of crimes—especially co-victims of homicide. We were honored to have him as our key note speaker. He spends countless hours working for rights for victims. We are fortunate to have him on our side.
Director Meg Garvin, Scott Flor, and Julie Landrum from Lewis and Clark National Crime Victims Law Institute read out loud the 500 names written on our POMC Memorial Wall. They did a wonderful job. They have been with us for the last six years and continue to work for victims of all crimes to help balance our justice system.
Officer Robert Libke and Chief Ralph Arther Painter were mentioned and honored as a special tribute to fallen officers. We were honored to have their family members in attendance. They were both murdered in the line of duty.
Robert Elledge and his grandson, Reece Elledge, released the butterflies. This year every butterfly was active and flew to the delight of the crowd.
Co-Chapter Gayle Moffitt and Chapter Leader Mary Elledge planned the program and spoke.
But, we won’t stop there! We would like to mention the people and businesses who helped us make it a day to remember and celebrate the lives of the people who so deserve to be remembered. So many donated food or money to make our barbeque held after the ceremony a success:
Beavercreek Telephone and Cable (BTC) provided a barbeque wagon and the hamburgers as well as providing three wonderful people to do the work. What a job they did! Frito Lay provided chips. Safeway helped pay for part of our water. Albertson’s provided a grocery credit card. Fred Meyers provided a grocery credit card. Starbucks on Molalla Ave in Oregon City provided coffee as well as Starbucks on Mclaughlin Blv in Oregon City. Barbara Norris, Karen Morrison, Eleanore Baccellieri, Dee and Steve Cook, Lisa and Jeff Kennedy, Mary and Bob Elledge, Lori and Rick Williams, and Delores and Lee Cook all provided food or money to buy food for the day. Sherrie’s Restaurant on Beavercreek Road and Sherrie Restaurant on McLaughlin provided us with their “great pies”. Pioneer Rentl helped donate for our chari rentals and Three River Post 1321 VFW supported us in anything that they would help us with our memorial.
We would also like to thank Rhonda Elledge, Maryalice Godfrey, Rose Minor, Sylivia Tombleson, Debe Holfeld, Cherry, Mike Osterman, Bob Elledge, and Reece Elledge for helping serve the food and give out programs. A special thank you to Beth Greear for bringing donuts for those of us who came early to work! If I have forgotten anyone, please let me know.
It takes a lot of people to do the work. But, without all of you who came to our event and those who supported us none of this would have been possible. Our loved ones will never be forgotten. Their names are engraved in granite. We will always remember them. Remembering keeps them alive in our hearts.
On one the pillars in front of our “Memorial Wall” there is a quote from Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust Survivor. Simon said, “If we forget, it will happen again.” If you have read any of my writings or heard me speak over the years, she will have heard it from me before. But, this one quote plays over and over in my mind. We do not have to go any further than our own city to hear or read about people being murdered. Whatever we can do to prevent others from being murdered is the most important thing we will do in our lifetime. I know that my audience knows this already. But again, who know better than us?
Murder cannot be resolved! It is time that we start saying it like it is. For the newly bereaved, I am not saying this to make you feel worse. Why I am saying it is that everyone needs to know that MURDER is the worst thing you can do to anyone. If it were not the worst thing, why do we suffer so much as co-victims? But, with support and a lot of hard work, we can get to a new normal. That does not mean that we will ever stop loving or missing our loved ones. It means that we will go on because of them. We can do more for them by remembering. By remembering, we all built our beautiful memorial. It lets others know how many people are murdered every year—just in Oregon and Washington. Multiply this by fifty! As co-victims, we are now in a position to help prevent murderers from being released early by the rights we have been given by those who work so hard for victims of crime. We can speak out about the protection of society needing to be addressed when dangerous people are not kept where they will not harm others.
The month of October is “National Domestic Violence Awareness Month”. Our POMC Memorial Wall is a tribute to so many who were murdered because of domestic violence. Invite others to see our wall. The first week of October was “Mental Awareness Week”. As a county, we need to be ashamed that there is no place to take people who are mentally ill for any length of time. For forty years, I was responsible for the care of my younger brother who was mentally ill. Had he not been a veteran, I would have had no place to take him when he was becoming a danger to himself or others. Now if a family needs help or protection for someone in their family who is mentally ill, they will be lucky to find a place that will keep him or her more than two days. We have closed almost all of our mental hospitals down. When someone is not “tracking” and they are mentally ill, they and their caregivers need help.
In the memory of our loved ones, we all can and do make a difference. Our loved ones’ names are itched in granite; just like they are itched in our hearts. Please know that we are all here for you and we are in this forever together. Again, thank you for your help and support in getting our “POMC Memorial Wall”.
All my love, Mary Elledge
The Greater Portland Area Chapter has been very excited to hear from so many of our members who are planning to go to the 2015 National POMC Conference in Las Vegas on July 30 to August 2. One of the members who called had not been to one in 20 years. This is a perfect time for Oregon and Washington because flights are less expensive to Las Vegas than almost any other state. We will be staying at the JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort and Spa. The resort has given us a special price of $99.00 per night. The rooms are deluxe with wonderful views and tech amenities. There is a $25.00 fee each way from the airport.
Meals will be included in the registration price and the Portland Chapter will be reserving tables so we can sit together. Our chapter is also going to be responsible for helping put on the Memorial Friday night. It will be wonderful to have a large representation from Oregon and Washington. In keeping up with the other National Conferences, we hope that it will be a special memorial for all who attend.
We will be keeping you up dated each month. Please let us know whenever you might find out that you are able to attend. We want to have plenty of table space. You can call 503-656-8039 or e-mail email@example.com or write POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Road, Oregon City, OR 97045.
(The Portland Chapter would like to thank Carolyn Thomas for her kind words and well thought out poem. They are expressive and have captured the grief and pain parents feel when a child is murdered. Thank you so much Carolyn. Our hearts go out to you and we appreciate you as well.)
Dear Mary, Maryalice and all,
Thank you so much for all you do to ease the burden of pain, and despair we all suffer after a child’s life has been stolen from us. Thank you for reaching out year after year with letters, articles, cards and poetry.
Enclosed are copies of a few thought I’ve recorded after the death of our son Jed in October of 2001. If these thoughts could help anyone else, feel free to share.
Respectfully, Carolyn Thomas
My feet will not
I am weightless
Hold me fast
. sliced through
.seared knife cut
Where am I?
Where is my form?
Can I reform?
I am not—can not.
My son is dead.
4 months after our son Jed’s Murder—Feb. 2002
(Thank you so much, Carolyn.
Your words are powerful.
Shelley Dawn Elkins, born on May 31, 1968, was a beautiful twenty year old woman who had loving parents, Nina and Don Elkins, and a devoted loving sister, Sharon Christensen. Shelley was engaged and was living in own home with her fiancé when she was murdered on May 31, 1989.
Dail Ryan Yates waited for her fiancé, his cousin, to go to work early in the morning when he decided to murder Shelley. He strangled her. He showed no remorse. In fact, six months earlier he shot and killed a man in Estacada, Oregon. He was charged with the man’s murder and kept in jail until his trial. Unfortunately, he was found not guilty. He had claimed self-defense. It was less than a month later, that he murdered Shelley. For a family, it is unbearable to think that if justice had been handed out their daughter might not have been murdered.
After the murder of Shelley, Yates was found guilty and given life with the minimum of 25 years. On February 18, 2014, he was given a parole exit hearing. He had served his twenty-five years.
Shelley’s sister, Sharon, spent hours contacting people to write letters against Dail’s release and working with Victims Specialist Attorney Rosemary Brewer to get information and evidence that Dail Yates was a risk to society if he were let out. Ms. Brewer is an excellent attorney who is well prepared to assist victims trying to keep a murderer behind bars when they are likely to commit a crime again. Again, Mr. Yates was not sorry he murdered Shelley.
The Parole Board listened to both sides and ruled that Dail Ryan Yates should serve four more years. Many letters against his release were mailed in and eleven people were there to support Shelley’s memory. Ms. Brewer proved he was a risk. Shelley’s sister Sharon spoke as well.
As a chapter, we are proud of the Elkins family and all of those who helped keep a murderer in prison longer to protect society. We also offer the Elkins’ family our deepest sympathy and support. Your daughter Shelley would be proud. Your actions are protecting society. Shelley is and will always be remembered. We would also like to thank Rosemary Brewer for an excellent job as well as the Board of Parole and Debbie Wojciechowski, Victim Specialist . Debbie is excellent in helping co-victims of homicide go through the painful experience of revisiting the murder of their loved one.
The murder of a loved one is the most horrific thing a person can experience. The only thing that can make it worse is a substandard initial investigation or not seeing justice in your case. Timely collection of evidence followed by an arrest and conviction would provide a degree of comfort, but what happens to co-victims when a thorough investigation is not done, and there is no arrest? Many of the victims' friends and acquaintances will gradually let go of their grief over time, but the closest of friends and family will remain in a state of sorrow, haunted by the injustice of investigators that may not have conformed to rules or standard operating procedures during their initial investigation. Not only is there no relief, but the agony of the event changes their lives forever, and becomes part of their very being. Co-victims' everyday battle becomes their effort to get a thorough investigation.
Helplessness is a gut-wrenching emotion which plagues co-victims who are not allowed to assist with the investigation and are longing for justice. We don't want to let our loved one down; we are compelled to fight for justice no matter how long it takes. As the process drags on, frustration grows. Many times, due to confidentiality, important conversations between co-victims and law enforcement are avoided, and this lack of communication can cause co-victims to feel neglected and disrespected, which often manifests itself in frustration, anger, and a loss of confidence in the investigators. Regular contact and truthfulness are two of the most important things survivors need from law enforcement. We need investigators to focus on routine communication of as much information as possible with sensitivity and without being misleading. Survivors’ perception that information is not being shared with them can result in them feeling they have been secondarily victimized. As the years pass, co-victims start wondering if their unsolved homicide could be reviewed by a fresh set of eyes, and they often look into getting their case to a cold case unit, only to find out that some jurisdictions don't even have a cold case unit. If there is a cold case unit in their jurisdiction, cases are evaluated and chosen according to a set of criteria. Co-victims whose cases seem to be continuously passed over for review become dismayed and even angry toward law enforcement. Anger can mobilize psychological resources for corrective action, but uncontrolled anger can negatively affect personal or social well-being.
Co-victims who put forth the effort to examine and understand the cold case process and various factors which must be dealt with during cold case investigations are able to put the process into perspective. They must understand that cold cases are among the most difficult and frustrating cases for both co-victims and law enforcement, and not every case is chosen to be investigated. It helps to review the following criteria checklist used by the National Sheriff’s Association, Justice Solutions and POMC:
Complete an application for cold case review. This application includes detailed information regarding agency reports, victimology, suspects/persons of interest, timeline, coroner, lab reports, investigation documents, weapon descriptions and media releases.
Co-victims should also be aware that closing rates can be more successful if investigators work only one or two cases at a time. At this point, if we find out that our case doesn’t qualify for review by a cold case unit, our only hope is that a thorough re-investigation will be done by homicide investigators.
If you have comments or questions about this article, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Pat Kuiper at 702-809-8654 to get your loved ones' name listed in our newsletter. Feel free to contact Pat if you would like to share your story.
Lucy Eilertson (1998)
Diana Moffitt (1987)
Donald James Brown (2007)
Kimberly Larson Reames (1983)
William (Bill) Mark Stratton (2005)
MARYALICE G. AND RICH U.
GWEN J. K.
THE GREATER PORTLAND CHAPTER IS NOW FUNDING FOR THE NEW WALL FOR OUR MEMORIAL GARDEN. WE APPRECIATE ANY AMOUNT OF HELP ANYONE CAN DO. AFTER THE NEXT NAMES ARE ADDED, WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE NEW WALL IS COMPLETED TO ADD NEW NAMES. THE NEW WALL SHOULD GIVE US MANY YEARS TO ADD ADDITIONAL NAMES. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT. WE APPRECIATE ANY HELP WE RECEIVE. DONATIONS CAN BE SENT TO THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS: POMC, 14427 S. FORSYTHE RD. OREGON CITY, OR 97045.
The Greater Portland Chapter is so proud of our member, Amanda Harris, for launching her official site for siblings. Amanda is offering the Website: www.unitingsiblings.com so that sibling co-victims of homicide have a place to go where they will be understood and supported. This site will include video, chat, and telephone conference via a secure and private interface. Amanda is paying for the expenses and will be delighted to be another support for sibling co-victims. Amanda can also be reached at: Amanda@unitingsiblings.com or 623-866-3189.
Amanda Harris is now ready to start her web site for siblings. The Portland Chapter is excited about the support and understanding this new group will be for the many often overlooked survivors.
We are continuing to accept donations for our Memorial Garden and are very close to reaching our goal. Thank you to all that have already donated and to those that have not, please consider making your donation today. Please send your tax deductible donations to:
Parents Of Murdered Children
14427 S. Forsythe Rd.
Oregon City, OR 97045
If you have questions, please contact Mary Elledge at (503) 656-8039.
Please find, enclosed, $10.00 for my annual subscription (three issues) for the Survivors Newsletter.
(Please consider adding an extra subscription fee to help defray the cost for someone who cannot afford it.)
CITY, STATE, ZIP____________________________________________________________________
MAIL TO: POMC, INC. ENCLOSED IS MY: CHECK _________________
100 E. EIGHTH STREET, B-41 MONEY ORDER__________
CINCINATTI, OH 54202
Download form here
PRINTED NAME OF LOVED ONE _________________________________________________________ (This spelling will be used)
MEMBER/FRIEND’S NAME AND ADDRESS _________________________________________________
MEMBER OR FRIEND’S PHONE NUMBER __________________________________________________
(Required to verify order)
SIGNATURE FOR PERMISSION TO ________________________________________________________
ENGRAVE NAME AND SPELLING APPROVAL
Please submit one form for each loved one. Please make efforts to confer with other family members/friends to ensure multiple requests are not received for the same loved one. When completed, please mail to:
POMC, 14427 S. Forsythe Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045. The names will then be submitted for engraving on the Memorial Wall at the Mountain View Cemetery and Park. If you have questions, please call 503-656-8039.
Download form here
Please Complete and Return to Memorial Garden,
POMC 14427 S. Forsythe Rd Oregon City, OR 97045
100% of Contributions are Tax Deductible
Name:____________________________________________ phone: __________________________
Gift in Memory of: __________________________________________________________
Anonymous gift (will not be recognized at the Memorial Garden or in published materials)
Method of Payment:
Credit Card #_________________________________________Exp Date:___________
Name on Card _________________________________________________________________
Pledged Payment (to be completed by December 31, 2014)
Please add notes on payment timing _________________________________________
Thank you for helping to create the Oregon-Washington Public Memorial Garden. Your generosity will never be forgotten.
Download form here
Turning pictures and home movies into a unique video you will treasure for a lifetime.
Tina Tanner 541-510-3075
Tana Tanner 541-935-2023
PO Box 343, Elmira, OR 97437
(Tana Tanner is a member of POMC. Prices are very reasonable for POMC members.)
We would like to get to know your loved one and gain and understanding of their lives, achievements, accomplishments, goals, and personalities. We’d like to celebrate the LIFE of our loved ones rather than remain in the pain of their death. If you would like to share a unique story about your loved one, please submit a short (1 page) letter telling us about them. Some possible ideas to include are:
Their favorite food, movie, book, and why
Their most successful accomplishment
A funny childhood story/experience
Their most exciting vacation
A unique talent
Their most prized possession
Their favorite school subject or teacher
Their educational/professional goals
A personal goal they planned to fulfill
An obstacle they overcame
A school play they may have performed in
Their favorite season/holiday
Please include your contact information as well as their full name and birth date. Thank you.
Please also include a picture of your loved one, if possible. Please keep in mind that we cannot guarantee that your photograph will be returned to you.
Please mail submissions to:
Portland Area Chapter
Parents Of Murdered Children
And Other Survivors Of Homicide Victims
14427 S. Forsythe Road
Oregon City, OR 97045
Tacoma Violent Crime Victim Services Welcomes Homicide Survivors
Peer Support Group Meeting
If someone you love has been the victim of a homicide, we invite you to attend our monthly support group meeting. You will find acceptance, compassion and support.
Place: United Way Building
3rd FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM
Date: 3rd Wednesday of Each Month!
Time: 7:30PM – 10:00PM
The United Way Building is located in Tacoma, at 1501 Pacific Avenue. This is the same building that the VCVS office is located in. It is next to Union Station on the north side. As you pass Union Station you will see the United Way Building. Parking is on the south side of the building. Please park your vehicle in an open space and enter the building’s front entrance and take the elevator to the third floor. The conference room is Suite 312. Please call Lew Cox for more information (253) 383-5254.
POMC'S Court Watch Program is designed to help families maneuver through the court system. Two of the most important aspects of Court Watch are the prevention of any re-victimization to family members, and the minimizing of the emotional pain of going through hearings and trials.
If you would like support from POMC during hearings and trials or want to offer assistance, call Pat Elmore at 503-312-5681 or Allen Tremain at 503-522- 0577.
Each month a number of newsletters are returned due to delivery problems. In addition to the initial postage, return postage is charged by the Postal Service. To minimize this expense, please write to the return address of the newsletter or contact Erin at Hondaerin2@aol.com if your address changes or you no longer wish to receive this publication.