I am typically not fearful of running...I mean, I don't like running in the dark, mainly because of what I'm afraid I might step on (ie, a snake). So, my traditional time that I love to run is early morning...just as the sun is coming up...while everyone else is still asleep or just waking to get ready for their day. That's my time and I've come to really love it.
Until this happened.
It has rocked our small town and shaken everyone with a heart to their very core.
Now, let me be upfront. Our little, quaint town has a crime problem. I'm not going to deny that. Burglaries, robberies, and even murders are a daily occurrence here. And while I always took necessary precautions when I was running (ie, don't mess me with me unless you'd like to be maced with a heavy dose of bear spray, or if a bullet to the chest sounds like fun to you...well, you get where I'm going with that). I was never really too fearful of our crime problem because 99% of it occurs in areas that I wouldn't run, much less drive during day light hours. It's typically peer violence...men and women brought up in broken homes with no real role models. Boys and girls who get involved in drugs at a young age, have babies at an even younger age...and again, no real role models to get themselves out of this cycle of crime and poverty. Your town has those areas, and so does ours.
But, this crime? Those apartments that they found parts of her body at? Yeah, I ran past that apartment complex twice on the Monday between the time she last talked to friends and family and the actual discovery of her body. TWICE people. And on a typical week, I'd run by it at least FOUR times. I mean, this is my regular running area. It's so peaceful in the morning hours...traffic is light...sidewalks abound...the views of the historic homes, the Law School, and finally when I crest Coleman Hill...I take a deep breath and enjoy a gorgeous view of the city, and the rising sun, and I've even stopped for a quick prayer...discovering that route, well, it's been one of the best things I've done for myself lately...and after I take it all in...reminding myself of how blessed I am, how great life is, and how wonderful a good run feels...well, then I descend the Hill to land right in front of these apartments.
It has shaken me beyond what I ever imagined. I know the family has so many questions. I can't even begin to imagine what they are going through. According to all accounts, she was a bright, energetic young woman with a future ahead of her that most people just dream about.
And that makes this whole situation even scarier. There are no motives. The police are being very vague. While there are "persons of interest," there are no suspects. Heck, they haven't even located whatever body parts were missing. Until the police make an arrest, I won't be running down there. Or anywhere in this town by myself. It just scares me to think that there might be another Ted Bundy or Charles Manson out there and that he or she might be lurking in the shadows of my small town.
So, until an arrest is made...a motive established...I think I'll just choose the treadmill in the quaintness of my basement for my solo runs....I'll continue praying for some sort of healing for her family and friends. I'll continue to pray that our police department, working night and day on this case, will have some leads, establish a motive, and make an arrest. And I'll continue to pray that this sort of thing doesn't happen to anyone else.