Diary of a Mother's Mission

My son, Kevin Martin, disappered under mysterious circumstances in the wee hours of July 18, 2004. His partial remains were found on February 1, 2005 in the river. The Des Moines Police have not been helpful and this is my blog to tell what I have done as it's done.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Mayor

Really short of an appropriate tittle this morning. Tomorrow morning, once again, I'll get to talk to the Mayor, Mayor Frank Cownie. I don't know what this is going to prove. Actually ,when I made the appointment I should have specified no police please. They were there the last time much to my horror and surprise. I'm sure the mayor thought that to be the solution. One gets the groups of people and/or individuals involved together to settle their differences. I knew that was not going to happen. It has been the same since I returned to Des Moines. The police will get back to me which of course they never do and this has been more of the same. The police never got back to me after the last meeting over two months ago.

Yesterday there was a Congressional hearing on Capitol Hill regarding the death of Pat Tillman. This is the fifth one; four conducted by the military and now this one by Congress. Now, I guess this family wants to know how high the cover-up went, who was involved, etc. They persisted and found out that friendly fire had killed their son but I guess that was not good enough. It makes my heart ache to know that Kevin has not even received one thorough investigation. The loss of a young life is tragic, yes, but the real tragedy is that Kevin's life is not, Kevin's loss of life is not given the same reverence as Pat Tillman's life. -Because Kevin wasn't a pro football player? Everyone knows that money talks. The rich are privileged in ways the common peoples are not. I know that. I guess I was still naive enough to think that this would not happen in matters of life and death. But it does. We took a walk through the cemetery last weekend. The Woodland Cemetery. A really beautiful and old cemetery. Everyone dies, rich or poor, but even in death the rich can build monoliths and mausoleums for themselves and families, where as others are lucky to afford a headstone... Dignity and reverence for life only applies to the rich and well to do?

As I'm getting ready to go and talk to Mayor Cownie, not that I'm prepared, not that I know what good this will do, if any, I have thought about a couple of young lives that perished recently. Abel Belanos, a State Univ. of Iowa student was only missing a couple of days before he was found dead in the lake on campus. He had been at a party Saturday night. They still haven't released blood alcohol levels and whether they will press charges against anyone concerning the serving of alcohol to this young man.

Even more upsetting was the discovery of Paul Shuman-Moore, a Grinnell college student who was missing for 6 months , Sept 25, 2006 until just recently found. They found him in a covered swimming pool at a country club just a short distance away as they were preparing to remove the tarp for the Summer season. A suicide note was found, although the police continued their investigation, but apparently the young man had duck tapped himself. With the Virginia Tech. massacre dominating the news I didn't hear anything more about the Shuman-Moore case. Not that it matters. Another young life is gone and not alot of answers either. This young man was missing about the same length of time as Kevin. He apparently was a music fanatic too. Kevin loved music as well and so I guess I've felt that there were some parallels here more so than other cases. Paul Shuman-Moore was 19 years old. I'm sure there are more cases all over. It's just that these two cases are very close to Des Moines.

So, tomorrow I will see the Mayor again. I'll say my peace to probably no avail. We had a speaker this morning from the police dept. talking to us about safety issues on the bus. He drew a few comparisons about our mutual public service jobs and about how customer service is so important. I guess I would have to give the police high grades on their customer service but that was about all I got! Nice, meaningless, empty words. So what will tomorrow accomplish? I don't even know what the mayor's job is. Is it to appease people? I was always a big one for actions speak louder than words, but perhaps all I will get are words that are meant to appease me but which won't.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Spring Babies

Well, it's that time of year again. Actually, Brian is a Winter baby being born on March 4th. Terry was due on March 21st or 22nd, so almost was born on the first day of Spring, but came on March 29th instead. Kevin was born on April 7th. He would have been 24 years old this year.

Recently I switched my run at work. A new and better run, I guess, or slightly better I should say. I do Lincoln High School, now, a school run before I start doing my regular city route run. Kevin went to Lincoln and I have been tempted to ask if anyone knew Kevin but too many years have lapsed since Kevin graduated. I even think he might have graduated a year early and so it is unlikely that any of these kids were even close to being at Lincoln.

They remind me so much of him, certain ones, the ones with light hair and their baseball cap turned around. The ones that are tall and thin and wear cargo pants and teeshirts even on rather cool days. The ones that haven't filled out yet since they are still so young and growing and won't reach their physical maturity for many more years. I'll never get to see that. I always thought that Kevin was going to be really tall, taller than Brian, as tall as Terry or maybe even taller, 6'4" I predicted. Tall and lanky. He had long arms and legs, I thought, and such big feet for a little baby. I remember this one photo of his father, Kevin's father, who was tall and lanky at one point ,too, and so I guess I thought Kevin would take after his father in that waybut even be a bit taller. But for now all I have are the memories of Kevin who still hadn't lost his boyish physique and still looked at age 21 similar to some of the kids I see at Lincoln on a daily basis.

Maybe to honor Kevin's birthday this year I'll go back to the Mayor's office. Nothing has been done. It has been over two months since I spoke to the Mayor and the representatives from the police dept. They would get back to me. This is what I've been told every time I went to the police station since I came back to Des Moines. They'll get back to me and of course they never do. I didn't want to talk to them that day. It was business as usual, old hat, same old, same old and I'm as sick of them as I am that expression. Same old, same old is what it is.

Recently on the news, perhaps a week ago or so, the news reporters did an update on the Grinnell College youth who disappeared awhile ago. Perhaps they mentioned it when the young man initially disappeared and I just didn't catch it, but apparently there was a suicide note left that was found. The police, there, are dismissing it as being unimportant.- That often times a note is found, but that they are continuing their investigation and do not believe the kid is dead. The Des Moines police, on the other hand, are implying suicide although they can not come right out and say it because they have no proof. They have rallied around a selfserving observation from a drunk 24 year old that was given the next evening, after Kevin disappeared, as one kid flagged down an officer on Ingersoll. There was no suicide note left by Kevin.

A young man, a student at Iowa State U., was found today or yesterday after being missing for a few days, since early Saturday morning I think. They found him in a lake near campus. There were no tips to check the lake, but they thought to search the lake anyway. There was a massive search, dogs, even the Civil Air Patrol. Isn't that a kick in the head? Kevin belonged to the Civil Air Patrol. There was a search and rescue team also. Something like Star search and rescue. The Des Moines police didn't even want me to have a search. They tried to discourage me from having one. Why? A missing kid is one thing. The kid could have taken off somewhere although Kevin would never have done that. But a dead body is something else. When they found Kevin's remains, a dead young man , they did nothing more...

So, my Spring babies are gone, and I will go back to speak to the Mayor... Kevin and Terry were both joys. Spring is joyful and everything is reborn. Easter is Sunday, April 8th, this year and that is joy too because we celebrate eternal life, Christ rising from the dead and ascending into Heaven. Kevin and Terry are spirits and have eternal life and that is hopeful and joyous, too.