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While Mother’s Day is a joyful holiday for many families, it is also a day of grief and courage for those who have lost their moms.
“I’ve come to think of grief as this celebration of love,” Lauren Lee Malloy, whose mother was murdered in 1993, told Fox News Digital. “… When we think about grief, we think about crying and sadness and the dark times that you do go through. And certainly that’s an aspect of it. But just because somebody isn’t here physically anymore doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy and appreciate who they were and celebrate their life.”
Every year on Mother’s Day, Malloy remembers the good things about her mother, and she is encouraging others who have lost their moms to do the same.
I BELIEVE EVERY MOTHER IS AN UNSUNG HERO
News of missing and murdered mothers is unfortunately not uncommon, but the following eight stories, in particular, have captured the nation’s attention this year.
Suzanne Morphew, a mother of two, went missing on Mothers Day in 2020 when she disappeared from a bike ride in Colorado and is presumed dead.
MISSING SUZANNE MORPHEW’S HUSBAND SEEKS $15MAFTER MURDER CHARGES DROPPED
Prosecutors initially alleged her husband, Barry Morphew, murdered his wife after she decided to leave him but later asked a judge to drop and dismiss the murder charges without prejudice in April 2022. They said they believed they were close to finding Suzanne’s remains, though they have yet to be recovered.
“We have heavy hearts today,” Barry and his two daughters with Suzanne, Mallory and Macy, told Fox News Digital in a statement. “We have missed our mom and wife, Suzanne Morphew, every single day for the last three years. We keep hoping that DA Stanley and Law Enforcement will use every resource to find her.”
Barry Morphew sued 11th Judicial District Attorney Linda Stanley’s office for $15 million in damages. His lawyer, Iris Eytan, said in a statement that Barry has “suffered the indignity of being wrongfully arrested, jailed and prosecuted for a crime he did not commit.”
Ana Walshe remains missing after she disappeared from her Cohasset, Massachusets, home in January.
ANA WALSHE MURDER: AUTHORITIES RECIEVED MYSTERIOUS RANSOM NOTE DAYS AFTER EXEC WENT MISSING
Her husband, Brian Walshe, is accused of murdering Ana in their home on New Year’s Day amid tensions in their relationship.
Among the evidence collected against Brian Walshe is a hacksaw found in a dumpster across the street from his mother’s home in Swampscott, Massachusetts, along with Volkswagen keys, Ana’s COVID vaccination card, a Hermes watch and Gucci necklace that Ana was known to wear, Hunter boots, a black Prada purse and a short black coat, an April 27 court filing says.
A “small bone fragment” was found on the hacksaw, according to the court documents, and authorities are waiting for the results of DNA testing.
Brian Walshe is expected to appear in court in August.
Lori Lee Malloy
Lori Lee Malloy was murdered in her Providence, Rhode Island, apartment in 1993, when she was 30 years old. The case remains unsolved30 YEARS AFTER RHODE ISLAND WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN APARTMENT, DAUGHTER EXPECTS NEW EVIDENCE IN COLD CASE
Her daughter, Lauren Lee Malloy, who was a year old at the time of her murder, is expecting more answers in her mother’s case soon as officials reexamine Lori’s cause of death. The original medical examiner assigned to her case concluded that she died naturally after a botched assessment.
When police arrived at Lori’s apartment in a multifamily home in March 1993, they found a bizarre scene.
Lori was lying naked and “obviously expired” on the floor of her bathroom “with slices of bread all around her,” according to the officer. The sink in the bathroom was still running.
Investigators also found “small tufts of hair” throughout the apartment and hair wrapped around Lori’s left hand and foot. The refrigerator in her kitchen was stocked full of food but unplugged and there were two empty glasses on a table.
Investigators exhumed Lori’s body in February for reexamination, and Lauren is expecting a new cause of death for her mother any day.
Lauren Lee Malloy said she liked to volunteer at a local cemetery on Mother’s Day. She also encouraged others who have lost their mothers to spend time with loved ones, put care packages together for those in need, volunteer, or even seek grief counseling on Mother’s Day.
“Know that you’re not alone, and you’re not the only person who’s going through this. Your loved one matters, and you matter, and everything that you feel is valid,” she said when asked if she had a message for other people who have lost their mothers.
Washington state authorities on March 22 found Meshay Melendez, 27, and her 7-year-old daughter, Layla Stewart, in rural Clark County after the pari went missing from Vancouver, Washington, on March 12.
WASHINGTON AUTHORITIES FIND 2 BODIES BELIEVED TO BE MISSING MOTHER, 7-YEAR-OLD DAUGHTER
Detectives identified a man named Kirkland Warren as a person of interest in the mother and daughter’s disappearance. Police said investigators believe he was the last person with the pair before they disappeared.
Authorities arrested Warren on March 19 on charges of tampering with a witness, violation of domestic violence order in which Melendez was the listed protected person and unlawful possession of a firearm II, police said.
Illinois authorities found Becky Bliefnick shot to death in her Quincy home on Feb. 23.
ILLINOIS MAN HELD WITHOUT BAIL IN SLAYING OF ESTRANGED WIFE BECKY BLIEFNICK, A NURSE AND MOTHER OF THREE
Her estranged husband, Timothy Bliefnick, is accused of killing the award-winning nurse and mother of three.
Bliefnick appeared on an episode of “Family Feud” with his parents and siblings three years ago.
“What’s your biggest mistake you made at your wedding?” host Steve Harvey asked in an episode that aired in January 2020.
“Honey, I love you, but, ‘said I do,'” Bliefnick replied, prompting a mix of laughs and gasps from the crowd.
Danielle Moss went missing on Easter in Washington, D.C.
She was last seen in the early morning of April 9 in the 2300 block of Q St. SE after spending time with family.
“We are a very large family. And we are very close knit. We have always been close knit,” Moss’ aunt, Missy Agnew, told WUSA9. “We do Christmas together, Christmas Eve together. We do New Year’s together. You know, we do Sunday dinners, you know, almost every other Sunday together… So this is very unusual, highly unusual of her.”
Her stepmother, Gloria Hammond, told Dateline that Moss was last seen at Minnesota Liquors, a block from her home on Q St. SE.
“The detective that was on the case was telling me that Danielle, well, she was supposed to be last seen at the liquor store down there,” she told the outlet. “There was no picture of her on the cameras at all. The detective sent me two pictures. Neither one of them were her.”
Anyone with information about Moss’ whereabouts is asked to contact the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9099.
Madeleine Kingsbury hasn’t been seen or heard from since she dropped off her kids at a Winona, Minnesota daycare with the children’s father around 8 a.m. on March 31, and she sent her sister a “goofy” text to her sister around 8:15 a.m. the same day.
MINNESOTA MOM MADELEINE KINGSBURY SINGS TO BABY IN 2021 VIDEO AS MILITARY BROTHER RETURNS FROM OVERSEAS
Madeline’s disappearance is “suspicious” and “involuntary,” Winona Police Chief Tom Williams said, but law enforcement haven’t publicly named a suspect or suspects.
Adam Fravel, who’s the father of Madeline’s two- and five-year-old children, was the last person who saw her alive and says he has nothing to do with her disappearance.
“Over the course of the last 12 days my family and I have been subject to a myriad of accusations regarding the disappearance of the mother of my children,” Fravel said in an April statement through his lawyer. “I did not have anything to do with Maddi’s disappearance.”
Court documents obtained by Fox News Digital and a law enforcement statement, however, allege that Fravel had a tense standoff with social workers on April 4, days after Kingsbury disappeared, when they tried to take custody of his children because he does not have custodial rights.
FATHER OF MADELINE KINGSBURY’S CHILDREN NOT SPEAKING TO MISSING WOMAN’S FAMILY
“At one point, (Fravel) took the younger child into the residence and locked the door despite being told that the children were in the care and custody of Winona County,” a petition by Winona County Health and Human Services alleges.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact 1-800-222-TIPS or go to crimestoppersmn.org.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 for information relating to the Dec. 10, 2022, disappearance of Heather Kelley, a mom of eight, from her home in Portage, Michigan.
The agency said there is evidence that Kelley may have been the victim of a homicide.
On Dec. 11 of last year, Kelley’s cousin found her vehicle, which had been set on fire, in Kalamazoo County, about two miles from the halfway house where her boyfriend was living.
Investigators later found and identified Kelley’s blood inside the burned vehicle, according to local news outlet WOOD.
NATALEE HOLLOWAY, SUSPECT JORAN VAN DER SLOOT: TIMELINE OF ALABAMA TEEN’S DEATH
Search warrants obtained by WOOD show that investigators believe Kelley’s boyfriend may be involved in her disappearance, but he has not been formally charged. He was on parole finishing up a sentence for a 2010 cocaine conspiracy that included a murder-for-hire plot, the outlet reported, according to the outlet.
“The first step” for the families of victims who wish to bring renewed attention to criminal cases is “speaking up about it and just being really vulnerable,” Lauren Lee Malloy told Fox News Digital
Malloy has been active in sharing information about her mother’s cold case murder on social media and created a petition for more answers on Change.org that has since garnered more than 4,500 signatures, she said.
“I went a little overboard and created a whole site and group called Unsolved for Rhode Island, which I think has been helpful to a lot of other families,” she said. “But if you can start to organize in your area, [and ask], are there other families going through the same thing? Well, you probably are facing the same challenges.”
She added that connecting with other families who have gone through similar trauma and “reaching out to local media to start directing some of that attention toward state leadership” can be “very helpful.”
Fox News’ Chris Eberhart, Stephen Sorace and Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.
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