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Standing in the draining pool water running down the street, a helicopter hovering overheard, a feeling of dread set in. Hearts sank as a growing number of officers circled the pool. The Medical Examiner’s arrival was confirmation of an outcome no one wanted.

Larie Butler’s death touched so many people.

A typical teenager’s disappearance, a mother’s agony, a police department’s alarm and a desperate search united the community in compassion.

There were those ready to pounce if the police and media didn’t give Larie’s case attention. While “missing white girl syndrome” is well-documented, bias was never in play in this sad story. We now know police had evidence from the start leading them to believe Larie had been killed. We now know why police didn’t initially want her family to speak publicly, for fear of jeopardizing their search for the suspect and her remains.

More than a dozen investigators were working around the clock. They got to know Larie’s family. Finding her body was something they will never forget. “She looked like an angel,” a police officer said.

We won’t soon forget the anguish of Larie’s mother. Whose heart didn’t break when she thanked police and the community and questioned her own trust of a family friend?

The magnitude of this crime hasn’t set in. There are never answers to explain why. It’s a horrifying, sad story that touched us all.

7 Responses to “She looked like an angel.”

  1. March 31, 2012 at 12:15 pm jeanne responds:

    This has been just a heartbreak. I don’t understand how she could have been allegedly killed in the boy’s grandmother’s house and no one knew or had seen her.

  2. beautifully said……..

    heartfelt sympathies and prayers to her family.

  3. March 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm lynn ellingwood responds:

    Really shocking and I’m glad the police did such a great job in finding her. I just cant believe that this boy wanted to hurt her.

  4. March 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm Patricia Mannix responds:

    This tragic case did showcase the police acting in their best professional manner.

  5. I am amazed again at how the RPD did this by the book never tip your hat good ole fashion police work Larie is gone but not forgotten to her family my heart hurts!!!! But she will always be honored with smiles and prayers for you all.

  6. So very sad,i cant even imagine the pain her family feels.Heartbreaking.
    You are a special person Rach, and it shows in your work. Thank you!

  7. April 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm gina wentworth responds:

    poor, poor girl how sad she did everything right going with someone she thought she knew calling her mom to say where she was going she was a good girl and i am so sorry for her family and friends

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