Friday, January 13, 2012

Prayers for the family of Sherry Arnold

Over the past 6 days we've been following a story coming out of a small town in Eastern Montana. A 43 year old teacher went for a jog at 6:30 AM and was never seen again. For the next few days the citizens of the small town and the surrounding county, with the help of local and federal law enforcement, set out on a search to find this wife/mother/daughter.

Why does this story hit so close? This small town of 5,000 people is where I grew up. A small, quaint town on the Montana/North Dakota border where we never locked the doors to our homes and we didn't think twice about leaving our car running while we ran into the grocery store to get a few items. All of this has changed over the past few years as the area has been part of an oil boom.

Sherry Arnold is married to my former middle school Lit. teacher and the step mother of a girl that I went to school with. This is such a sad story, and we were all praying for her safe return. But as the time went on we all knew that the news wasn't going to be good. There were several outcomes that could have played out. 1) She may have fallen and become disoriented and wandered off. 2) Abduction. 3) Car accident where she was hit while jogging, and then the people panicked and took her body and dumped it.

My father is the sheriff of the county where all this is taking place, and I can honestly say I don't know how he does his job. I don't know that I could hold myself together while dealing with things that hit this close to home and affect a family that we all know and care about. There was a news conference earlier today but the police weren't giving out much information. The did say that there were two suspects in custody, one a 47 year old man being held in Williston, ND; the other being a 22 year old man being held in Rapid City, SD.

I try to look at this case objectively, but I can't help but hope that the men who did this burn in hell. It's very harsh for me to say that, but think of the hell that the family is going through right now, not knowing what happened to her for 6 excruciating days. I give kudos to the law enforcement officials for finding these men in less than a week; and I'm also grateful to the person(s) who left the anonymous tips on the Tip Line set up for this investigation.

I just pray that the family is able to lay Sherry to rest and begin the grieving process. I ask that everyone take a moment and think or pray (or whatever you believe in) for the family and friends of Sherry. And women, it's awful that we no longer live in a world where you are safe...but take precautions. Always be aware of your surroundings and jog with others...never alone. My heart is heavy for the family and the community. I hope that as a community they can band together and help each other heal.

Rest in Peace Sherry.

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