Memorial Wall

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This Memorial Wall is our tributes to those who have died as a result of child abuse, domestic violence, rape, religious abuse, or other types of abuse. Some of these people we knew personally, others we only heard of. Abuse is not a theoretical concept, it happens to real people, and costs lives. It's important to honor those we lost to abuse by telling their stories, so that the secret that killed them does not remain secret, and so that other lives might be saved, as a result of increased awareness.
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December 2nd:
Brian Nees
died on December 2nd, 2017

Brian Nees, 64, was killed on Dec. 2, 2017. Detectives quickly identified Tyler Nees as the suspect. Police have not said why Nees killed his father. The DA's Office filed paperwork indicating that if they are able to get a conviction, they will be seeking an enhanced sentence. The Multnomah County Chief Deputy District Attorney wrote that Tyler Nees had previously been convicted of attempted second-degree assault...had attacked a disabled man whom he encountered on a TriMet bus. Nees hit the man in with a champagne bottle in what was described as an unprovoked attack. He had also previously attacked his father, jail inmates and staff within Multnomah County.

Posted by Jane on June 16th, 2018
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December 3rd:
Daniil Podchapko
died on December 3rd, 2016

1yo Daniil from Ukraine lived with his mom and 2yo sister Anna. Their parents divorced, mom was dating a new boyfriend, and just gave birth to a third child. On November 27th she took the baby to her boyfriend, and left Daniil and Anna home alone for nine days. They had no food except for some candy. Neighbors heard them crying and called the police, but the police had no authority to break the door to rescue the children. Their grandma came by with food, but also couldn't get into the apartment. The children tried to eat wallpaper, and tore off linoleum floor by the entrance door, trying to escape from the apartment. Daniil died on December 3rd. Anna stayed in the apartment with his dead body for three more days, spent some time in ICU, but survived and is now in foster care.

Posted by Manya on February 11th, 2018
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Ronin Shimizu
died on December 3rd, 2014

Ronin was a 12yo boy from California who committed suicide because he was bullied for being the only male cheerleader on the team. Here's the statement of his parents:

The tragic loss of our son has and will forever change our life. The love and support that we received from family, friends and the Folsom community has been immeasurable and words cannot begin to express our gratitude through this most difficult grieving process. The people close to our family know exactly who Ronin was, but since the story of this tragedy has spread worldwide, we want to take a minute to let the world know who he was. Ronin was one of the most loving, compassionate, empathetic, artistic and funny kids to grace this earth. Ronin was a child who was not afraid to follow his heart, and we as his parents did everything in our power to allow him to pursue his passions, while protecting him from the minority that could not understand the specialness he possessed. As you already know, Ronin loved to do Cheer, but he also loved art, fashion, being a Scout and most recently crew/rowing. It is true that because of his specialness, Ronin was a target of bullying by individuals that could not understand or accept his uniqueness. Ronin was not just a target of bullying because of his participation in cheer, but for him just being Ronin. We as his parents always knew that he would make an impact on the world, we just thought it would be in something like fashion design or art related. We had no idea that God and Buddha had a more important role for him, and we as his parents will make it our mission in life to turn this tragedy into something positive and hopefully prevent another senseless tragedy. In closing, please remember that education in regards to bullying prevention does not only need to occur in our schools but also in the home.

Thank you,
Brandon and Danielle Shimizu

Posted by Manya on February 27th, 2016
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December 4th:
Macy Grace Ditty
died on December 4th, 2015

Macy Grace, was covered in bruises and medical staff determined the child had suffered life-threatening injuries consistent with child abuse. She was transferred to UNC Hospital in Chapel Hill where police said it was determined her injuries were inflicted within 24 hours of the child being taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. Macy Grace died from her injuries Dec. 4. Her mother Jeanie Ditty, and her boyfriend Zachary Keefer, were both charged with first-degree murder and negligent child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury for the death of Ditty's daughter, Macy Grace.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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December 5th:
Geontae Glass
died on December 5th, 2006

Geontae Glass was beaten to death with a piece of lumber by his mother's boyfriend, Kevin Towles, after he came home with a bad school report card. Prosecutors say the boy's mother, Shalinda Glass did nothing to stop the beating. Police say after Geontae died, that Glass and Towles tried to cover up the murder by staging a kidnapping in Albertville. However, investigators later found Geontae's body in the back of a car in Towles' garage. Geontae's mother, Shalinda Glass, entered a guilty plea in the case in 2012. She's serving life in prison. Kevin Andre Towles, was convicted of capital murder and is appealing his death sentence

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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December 6th:
Aaron Leafe
died on December 6th, 2010

15yo Aaron from UK was sexually abused in a home for troubled youth where he was placed because of ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome. Six weeks before his death he reported the man who was abusing him and recorded a 93-minute police interview (which later served as a basis for the man's conviction). "Anwar always pressured me into having sex with him," Aaron said. "I didn't want to do it. He gave me money. He got me a flat. He let me drive his car. He bought me cigarettes and cannabis. I was scared of him. I just did what I was told. That's why I did it." On December 6th Aaron said goodbyes to his family, put on the suit that he was going to wear in court, and hung himself. He left a note saying, "I can't get over what happened with me and Anwar. I hate him so much."

Posted by Manya on June 17th, 2018
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December 7th:
Antonio Tucci
died on December 7th, 2015

71yo Mr Tucci from Italy, a wheel-chair bound retired pastry chef, was beaten to death by his nephew. The newphew was cut off from his family due to violent outbursts and theft. Mr Tucci took him home, hoping to provide stable housing and employment, but eventually had to ask him to leave. They often argued because the nephew was demanding Mr Tucci's pension money. On December 7th Mr Tucci was found in his kitchen, with a broken skull. The nephew tried to flee the country, but was arrested.

Posted by Jane on June 15th, 2018
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December 8th:
Corey David Hawkins
died on December 8th, 2002

Corey Hawkins had filed a restraining order against his estranged boyfriend, but in June 2003, Coreys' body was found buried in his ex's backyard. He had been shot in the head. Carol Manion, Corey's aunt, said her nephew had a hard time getting a restraining order because of his sexual orientation. His friends were eventually able to help him, and a restraining order was granted' For victims of domestic violence who are in same-sex relationships, seeking and getting help is doubly hard, advocates of domestic violence say. "They have to continually 'out' themselves in the process of trying to get help," said April Burgess-Johnson, the director of outreach and prevention for the N.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Posted by Jane on July 6th, 2018
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December 9th:
Jeanette Marie Maples
died on December 9th, 2009

Jeanette Maples died last month; her mother and stepfather have been charged with murder, and state child welfare officials have launched an internal inquiry into how they handled calls alerting them to Jeanette's suspected abuse. Jeanette, a quiet, dark-haired girl who sought refuge in books at her school's library, tried to hide her injuries during her middle school years, friends recalled. But many days when she got into her clothes for gym class, friends saw bruises on her abdomen and legs, which she said came from falling. One classmate, Amber Davis, wouldn't accept Jeanette's explanations about her injuries and pressed her for the truth. "She told me her mom was abusing her when we were in seventh grade," said Davis, 15, one of Jeanette's closest friends during her years at Cascade Middle School. After graduating from eighth grade in the spring of 2008, Jeanette was home-schooled by her mother. Friends and family say she was hidden away with almost no contact with the outside world while her siblings attended school and appeared healthy and happy.

Posted by Jane on June 18th, 2018
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December 10th:
Aqsa (Axa) Parvez
died on December 10th, 2007

Axa was a 16yo girl from Canada who didn't want to wear hijab. She was a teenager, wanted to look like everybody else, and women in hijabs sometimes get looks, especially after the 911 attacks. Axa was from a Muslim family of Pakistani origin, and her dad wanted her to wear hijab while outside. According to friends, she sometimes would change her clothing once she got to school, and then change back before going home. There was tension in the family, and a week before her murder Axa moved in with another family in the neighborhood. Around 8AM on December 10th, her father called 911 and said he had just killed his daughter. Axa was still alive when the police arrived, but died shortly after in a hospital. It was later discovered that it was her brother who strangled her. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment. Her father said, "My community will say you have not been able to control your daughter. This is my insult. She is making me naked." Axa was buried in an unmarked grave, and her family refused a donation of a gravestone and a memorial.

Posted by Manya on February 10th, 2016
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December 11th:
Danny Fernandez
died on December 11th, 2016

Initial reports told police 66-year-old Danny Fernandez fell from his wheel chair causing life-threatening head injuries. Family members later told police they thought Mathews was responsible for beating her step-father over money issues. Christina Mathews has been charged with three-counts of First-Degree Murder, after originally being picked up on Aggravated Battery counts.

Posted by Jane on June 17th, 2018
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