It is already fall and October 1st is rapidly approaching – I would like to let everyone know that the FOHVAMP (Families of Homicide and Missing Persons) Annual Meeting is being held in Colorado on that date. If you, or anyone you know of, has had a loved one whose case has not yet been solved please read the invitation to this meeting, as attendance is available to anyone, whether or not your case is in Colorado. This would be a good venue for you to attend – it could prove to be invaluable to your case.
The main feature this year will be a Cold Case Study in which co victims will learn more about the complicated nature of how our system of justice works, and possibly glean ideas on how to better manage their own unresolved homicide or missing person cases.
It is such a HUGE undertaking to attempt to make our system better, but I believe education and awareness for both the families, as well as law enforcement, will accomplish a lot when it comes to solving these type of cases. If there is no justice there can be no peace. Families need answers. Families need to know that everything that can possibly be done is being done, and that their loved one is not forgotten.
Personally, Steve & I have learned so much since the morning we found our youngest daughter Morgan dead. In our case, when it happened I went into a kind of shock. I started telling myself I was just dreaming, and that I will wake up any moment and she will still be alive. Then I started to beg for a reset button so that I could be transported to the day before she was gone forever. I wanted so desperately to hit that reset button and see her smiling face again, so I could take her far, far away, where evil couldn’t find her. You beg, you plead, and eventually you slip into what I call “survival mode.”
For me survival mode occurred when I realized it wasn’t a nightmare – it was really happening, our youngest daughter was dead. I knew there was no reset button, and I could never bring Morgan back. I understood that the searing pain I had in my heart was never going to go away – how could it? A piece of my heart had been cut out and was now missing forever. I had to evolve into some new version of myself – someone that could still move forward. While my mind was telling me there was no way I could ever go on with my life, my heart kept urging me to hang on. Oh, how hard moving forward is when you have lost a piece of your heart forever. I chose to move forward, as painful as that was. I felt it was the right choice. I had always taught Morgan, as well as our other two children, that giving up was not an option, so how could I just give up? No, that was not an option for me either. It took years for me to grow out of survival mode, to actually understanding my new life, and path that I am now following. I guess you could call this an act of surrendering to this new path instead of allowing my pain to become all consuming. I knew in my heart (not my mind) that there were things I could do, that we can all do, to make changes, big changes, so other families in the future won’t have to suffer as we have. FOHVAMP has always tried to facilitate these type of changes. They want to help these families, and that is why I support FOHVAMP.
The FOHVAMP Annual Meeting is a wonderful opportunity for law enforcement to hear how the families feel, and learn how the families can actually help the case. It is also a good time for the families to hear about some of the challenges law enforcement has and together maybe they can both find ways to “pool” their information and solve the cases much faster.
For detectives, looking to earn P.O.S.T. certification credits, you can register as well for a $40 class fee. In my capacity as the California Representative for OCCA (Organization of Cold Case Advocates) I would like you to know that all the co victims I have worked with over the years want the same thing…ANSWERS. The more all of us learn how to find those answers, the faster we can solve these cases.
FOHVAMP Annual Meeting
Saturday, October 1, 2016
9am to 4 pm
9350 Grant St
Thornton, CO 80229
Cold Case Study Co Sponsored By;
Center for Domestic Violence
This year’s Annual Meeting will be at the beautiful Brittany Hill Conference Center located in Thornton Colorado just off I-25 and Thornton Parkway. Our main feature this year will be a Cold Case Study in which co victims will learn more about the complicated nature of how our system of justice works, and possibly glean ideas on how to better manage their own unresolved homicide and missing person cases.
In the course of this Cold Case Homicide Study, we will hear from many of the actual key figures in the investigation such as District Attorney, Crime Lab Experts, Police detectives, victim advocates and co victim.
Through the course of this study, it is our sincere hope to bring out lessons learned from all of these individuals as to the need for good communication between Co Victims and law enforcement, between law enforcement agencies, District Attorney’s, Coroners, crime lab experts and others. Our first presentation was one where law enforcement and authorities involved in these very complicated and difficult investigations learned a great deal and were able to take those lessons learned and apply them to their own individual cases.
Admission will be $40.00, which includes a fabulous lunch and the conference center fee.
You can pay online ahead of time or you may pay at the door before the start of the meeting. Follow this link if you prefer to pay online: https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=MYLUGF6HfKc_xBrV-nrmeUCUovIxn2u1QPwV8j2XCL0kXV9W62o3_HwAu3G&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f8e263663d3faee8d4fe1dd75ca3bd4f11d72275b28239088 remember to write under “purpose” Annual Meeting & your name, so you will be on the list of paid attendees.
To add even more excitement, Jennifer Shaffer will be one of the speakers at the meeting. Jennifer will be discussing something that I believe will become the wave of the future in solving some of the hardest cases, BIS (Beneficial Intelligence Syndicate) http://www.jennifershaffer.com/event/jennifer-speaking-at-fohvamp-families-of-homicide-victims-and-missing-persons-in-colorado/
And for all of you that have lost a child, here is a poem that explains a little about the “exclusive club” that none of us parents would have ever wanted to become a member of, and would never, ever wish upon another family.
WHEN I TELL YOU THAT MY HEART STILL HURTS,
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY.
WHEN I TELL YOU THAT MY EYES STILL CRY,
YOU LOOK THE OTHER WAY.
HOW COULD YOU KNOW THE PAIN I HAVE,
AND THE SORROW THAT I FEEL
FOR YOU HAVEN’T LOST A PRECIOUS CHILD
SO FOR YOU THIS ISN’T REAL.
I CAN’T SAY THAT I BLAME YOU
FOR I ONCE WAS JUST LIKE YOU
I WOULD TURN MY HEAD AND WALK AWAY
NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO.
BUT NOW I KNOW, OH HOW I KNOW
WHAT ANOTHER MOTHER FEELS,
FOR ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE LOST YOUR CHILD,
OUR SHARED PAIN IS NOW SO REAL.
THIS PAINFUL LOSS THAT BEREAVED MOTHERS SHARE
BRINGS US CLOSER IN OUR HEARTS
NOW WHEN WE MEET AND SHARE OUR CHILD
WE ARE FRIENDS RIGHT FROM THE START.