Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Marissa Karp's Murder

 . When I visit my mother's grave, it is in a serene alcove  dedicated to veterans. Both of my parents were military, and have plots there. Thankfully, my father is still with me. He never understood why I have always been drawn, inexplicably, to a double plot just past my mom's headstone. Buried there are a mother and daughter. I can't explain how powerful the emotions have been when I have been in the presence of their graves. I have found myself crying...( my dad thought I was crying for my mom, which I suppose I was)....however,  the sight of a  young girl buried in a grave next to her mother, sharing a headstone, has moved me more than I can articulate.. I have studied it, and have left flowers and bright stones on it, although, I never knew either one. I never knew why I felt this way about strangers.

Their deaths were not on the same date, so, it wasn't a car crash or accident. The girl was only 17. I believe the mother was only 40, maybe younger, and she died a year or so before the girl. A few years ago, I couldn't stop thinking about them, after visiting my mom's grave, and her name stayed with me, so, I googled her. To my horror, it turns out that the young girl was a murder victim.

Today marks eight years since Marissa Karp, aged 17, was found in a canal, wrapped in plastic, beaten and shot to death, then discarded like trash, to be devoured by the alligators. I learned that her mother died of an asthma attack, a year or so before, and I wondered if she had been one of my patients at some time? The familiarity towards them is unbelievable.  Long before America's Most Wanted got a hold of the story, or this billboard appeared on I-95, I've prayed for justice for this young, young girl, whose life hadn't even begun. I've felt this way for years, now, so much so that my dad expects me to leave a flower on each grave when I visit my mom.

What's even more tragic is that she left behind a heartbroken dad, and I wish I could reach out and explain somehow to him, the way I feel her, and have felt her, long before I knew anything more than her name on a granite stone. If I've been haunted, you can imagine his burden.

I ask God to provide the DA with sufficient evidence to try the case, because, I feel as if Marissa is crying out for justice, even though she is with her beloved mother, who was also far too young to leave the world. What's more heart-wrenching, is that Marissa was a bright and vibrant kid, who went downhill after her mom's sudden death. She became so rebellious and unstable, that she had to be placed with the department of children's services, who placed her in foster situations that she found untenable, and she ran away shortly before she was murdered.

I know her dad has punished himself over the what ifs....especially since he must wonder what if he and his family had been able to handle her? I know that they did what they thought was best. I think she had lived with her grandparents, or other family members, and that didn't work out, either. Under the circumstances, they did what they felt would possibly set her on a straight course, never expecting this outcome.

All I can offer is this prayer:

Oh Father, in Jesus' Name, please give this murdered child justice, and let her dad have some peace and closure, even though he will never recover fully from losing her.. This poor man is in agony. He wrote to America's Most Wanted, and his devotion to this poor kid has never diminished. All he wants is the person responsible to pay for this heinous act. He claims the perpetrator is known to law enforcement, and he knows who it is. How much worse can it get than to see your child's murderer live freely?  Lord, you know who it is, and so do the police and yet, the way our justice system is devised, there must be evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Please provide witnesses who will have the conviction to come forth and testify. There's a large reward, but, I'd like to believe that some one's heart is pierced by this monstrous tragedy, the way my heart breaks when I visit the grave of a mother and daughter who I never knew. I pray for justice and some closure for this father's grief and misery. Please watch over him.