Wednesday, October 26, 2011

16th Annual MAAV Walk and Candlelight Vigil

This past Sunday was the walk.  We had a GREAT day.  The weather was good and the turnout was awesome!  I thought I would share some pictures I took at the event.
A close-up of the community mural.  I've talked about this before but this year for the first time we did a community project to display at the walk.  It was called "Everyone Has A Hand In Stopping Violence."   People of all ages participated to make this awesome mural and it looked so nice on display at the event.  Can you find my hand? :)
Here is a view of more of the mural.  This is only 1/2 of it!  It was too big to fit in the picture.  Below it you will see the Victim Narratives which share the names of the 28 victims who were killed in MA due to domestic violence since our walk last year.  That is 28 too  many and we hope that someday there will be no need for the walk and candlelight vigil.  You'll be able to read the narratives at the end of this post.
The raffle table!  I may have bought a few iPad raffle tickets and was pretty convinced I would win.  You'll have to keep reading to see if I did!
MAAV's annual domestic violence bracelet can also be worn as a necklace this year.  It is very pretty and they are still on sale for $20.  If you are interested let me know.  Oh and I made that poster!  
The bracelets are very pretty and of course have purple beads which is the color for DV awareness.
Jenn and I after the walk.  Jenn and I use to work together at MSPCC.  We have both moved on to new things but I recruited her to be on the walk committee and it was fun to get to work on something with her again.  This is us after the walk.

The Hallmark Health Team!  A few of my coworkers came out to the walk to show their support for MAAV.  So appreciative to them for joining me on the walk and raising money!
Boston Elon Alumni Team (yes I had 2 teams)!  I'm so thankful that a few Elon Alumni could come out and walk with me in honor of Lauren Astley who died this summer just weeks before she was to begin as a freshman at Elon University.  
The a cappella group Blue of a Kind performed along the walk route and after the walk during refreshments.  They were very good!  
 Ok so now what you've been waiting for. . .  the winners of the raffles!  I absolutely adore this picture I took of Rebecca b/c I caught this moment.  This little boy is so excited to see who wins!
The winner of the "money tree" valued at $280 was my coworker, Sue!  Yay for Sue!  She is a nurse at the hospital and she was so excited when her name was called that she screamed and jumped up and down!!  Maybe she'll take me shopping or out to eat! ;)
So I didn't win the iPad. . . but a fellow committee member, Joe did win!  Here he is with Karen who is a fellow board member and committee member.  I think they were pretty excited.  I'm very happy for them.
I may not have won the iPad but I did win something!  I won this adorable handmade elephant quilt.  Don't tell my nieces b/c one of them will be getting it for a gift.  Glad to see that all the money I spent on raffle tickets led to winning something!  Good thing all the money goes to a wonderful cause that I 100% support.

The walk is a lot of fun and a great community event.  I loved seeing so many familiar faces at the event.  But on a more serious note we are there to honor those we have lost.  This past year we lost too many to domestic violence.  28 victims in Massachusetts who died at the hands of a loved one, partner, spouse or family member. . . senseless and unnecessary.  We light a candle and read the name of each victim to honor and remember them.  It is a very special part of the event.  Below I've posted the narratives of each victim.  Take a moment to read them and say a prayer for their family who now misses them everyday. 

VICTIM NARRATIVES

November 9, 2010: Theresa Kenna Wilkes, 50
 Of Chelsea was found dead in the driveway of the home she shared with her husband, Frederick Wilkes, 54. While the death remains under investigation, the husband has been arrested for domestic assault and battery. Wilkes allegedly struck her head inside their home, dragged her outside and locked her out of the house. On September 16th, Kenna Wilkes filed a restraining order against her husband; according to court documents published in a media report, “Theresa Kenna Wilkes, ‘who had several bruises over her head,’ told cops her husband was punching walls before he kicked her violently in the ribs.” In both cases, alcohol appears to have been a contributing factor. The death has not yet been ruled a homicide pending the medical examiner’s determination of cause of death.

                 November 12, 2010: Cynthia Coutoumas, 48
 of Waltham, was shot to death by her husband Michael Coutoumas, 48, before he fatally shot himself. It is unclear why neighbors called police on Friday afternoon. When police arrived at the house, they found both of them dead in the kitchen area. The couple had two sons, a 21 year-old student at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and a 19 year-old student at Springfield College.

November 18, 2010: Rebecca Bibert, 41
of Westborough, died of “sharp force injuries to the neck” and “blunt force trauma to the head.” The manner of death was determined to be homicide. Investigators believe that Bibert was murdered by her husband, Richard Bibert, who then killed himself. A neighbor called the police after finding a note on the door of the couple’s home telling the couple’s six-year-old son, Joseph, and eight-year-old daughter, Meghan, not to enter the house and to go to a neighbor’s home. According to court records, Rebecca filed for divorce in September.

November 22, 2010:

Kimberly Nguyen, 35, and her sister, Lilly Nguyen, 29

of Lynnfield, were shot and killed by Kimberly’s boyfriend, Joseph Cummings, who then killed himself. According to media reports, the couple was arguing about the last name of their unborn child when Cummings shot her. Lilly, apparently hearing the gunfire, jumped from a second floor window. As she lay on the lawn, Cummings shot her from a window and then killed himself. Kimberly’s twelve-year-old daughter was in the house when the shootings occurred.


November 28, 2010: Karen Preston, 50 
of Greenfield, was allegedly shot to death by her boyfriend, Anthony Wallace, who then killed himself. Preston was shot several times in the chest. Wallace had a single gunshot wound to the head. According to media reports, both bodies were found by Preston’s 17 year-old daughter. Neighbors reported that Wallace was an “avid hunter” who kept several rifles and at least one pistol in the house.

December 7, 2010: Patricia Spada, 51

of Dedham, was allegedly shot to death by her husband, William Spada, in their home. William Spada also reportedly shot their daughter, Deidre Spada, 26, before killing himself. She remains in the hospital in critical condition. Deidre Spada’s boyfriend witnessed the shootings and gave authorities a “very detailed” description of events. Several hours after the shootings police removed several rifles from the home. According to media reports, in addition to working for the family’s landscaping and plowing business, Patricia Spada was the treasurer for the non-profit Justin House. The couple also has a younger son attending college out of state.


January 16, 2011: Joseph Scott, 45

of Worcester, was allegedly stabbed to death by his longtime girlfriend Shirley Sanabria, 44, in their home during a birthday party. During a verbal argument, Sanabria allegedly grabbed a knife and stabbed Scott in the chest. She claims it was self defense. The family did not call the paramedics. Sanabria was charged with murder and aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. She was held without bail as she violated probation from a previous charge of breaking and entering and malicious destruction of property.

January 19, 2011: Joel Echols, 45

of Springfield, was allegedly stabbed by his wife Beverly Caldwell, 41, in their home. Police responded to a domestic dispute and found Echols with a stab wound to his chest. He was taken to Baystate Medical Center where he died. Caldwell was arrested and charged with murder. She was held without bail after pleading not guilty.


January 30, 2011: Troy Burston, 34

of Medford, was found by police stabbed to death, allegedly committed by Shawntina Burston, 39, his wife. It looked like a domestic dispute gone bad. Their two daughters, both under the age of five, were there during the incident. Neighbors often heard them fight. Shawntina Burston was arrested. The investigation is ongoing.

February 14, 2011: Maria Avelina Palaguachi-Cela, 25

of Brockton, and her son Brian Palaquachi, 2, were murdered from blows to the head. They were stuffed in duffel bags and thrown in the dumpster. Police received a chilling 911 call from a passerby about there being a body in the dumpster. Brian’s body was discovered hours later when police sifted through the trash. According to reports, neighbors heard Palaguachi-Cela, an immigrant Ecuador, fighting with one of her roommates, Luis Guaman, saying she did not love him. While police sought Guaman for questioning, he flew back to Ecuador less than 3 hours after the bodies were discovered. There is also an arrest warrant issued for him for an assault and battery case in 2007. Ecuador does not extradite its citizens, so authorities are working with the Ecuadorian government to bring Guaman back to face trial here in Massachusetts. Palaguachi-Cela leaves behind a husband and two children in Ecuador.
February 25, 2011: Lancelot Reid, 23

of Dorchester, was pronounced dead at the scene when police responded to an emergency call. Police arrested his girlfriend, Cherry Clinton, 29, who admitted she stabbed Reid. She was charged with murder and held without bail at arraignment. Later she stated that Reid attacked her earlier in the day so she grabbed a knife and he “ran into” it. Neighbors stated that they often heard Clinton and her boyfriend argue.

March 9, 2011: Brian Bergeron, 55

of Malden, was allegedly fatally stabbed by his husband Michael Losee, 41. His body was found wrapped in a blue tarp. Losee called a friend in Florida and confessed to the murder. The friend called the police and Losee agreed to turn himself in. The couple had been together for over 20 years. Losee was arraigned in Malden District Court and denied bail.


March 22, 2011: Jennifer Freudenthal, 50

of Webster, was allegedly murdered by her husband, William Freudenthal, 50, less than an hour after the IRS came to seize one of their cars for nonpayment of taxes. Police had to stand between William Freudenthal and the IRS agents so they could take the car. Afterwards police received two hang-up calls from a fax machine inside the home. When they arrived police found Jennifer on the bathroom floor with injuries to her face and neck. She was pronounced dead at Harrington Healthcare Hubbard Regional Hospital. Freudenthal stated to police that he and his wife argued, he pushed her, causing her to fall, and she hit her head. An autopsy was scheduled to determine cause of death. Police have responded to domestic violence calls to that address in the past. William was charged with second-degree murder and domestic assault and battery. He was held without bail.

March 28, 2011: Elaine McCall, 69

of Wakefield, was fatally shot in the chest by her husband, David McCall, 72. Police reported that a fight took place before the incident when Elaine McCall said she was no longer going to cook or take care of McCall anymore. According to investigation reports, McCall first shot at her from the top of the stairs but missed. The second shot hit her in the chest. McCall called the police to report a murder and a suicide. He attempted to shoot himself. Police responded and found McCall sitting in a kitchen chair. He said he shot his wife and the gun was on the floor. His wife was found lying face up next to the front door. McCall plead not guilty and was held without bail pending a competency hearing. 

April 3, 2011: David Walton, 41

of Taunton, was allegedly killed by his boyfriend, James Costello, 45, while doing what he loved most, camping. An officer found the couple on a routine patrol of the campground. He noticed the broken glass door of the campground office and saw the two men in blankets on the porch. They both appeared bruised and cut, however, Walton did not move. He was later pronounced dead by rescuers. Costello later admitted to police that he assaulted and beat Walton with a shod foot. Costello has a long criminal record including an assault conviction against Walton in 2006. A restraining order was also issued in 2006 for Costello to stay away from Walton. The autopsy revealed strangulation was the cause of death. Costello was charged with murder, assault and battery and battery with a dangerous weapon. He was held on $100,000 cash bail.


April 25, 2011: Jettie Lincoln, 49

of Plymouth, was bludgeoned to death in an apparent murder-suicide by her husband Keith Lincoln, 49. Police were called for a well-being check at the request of family members. When the officers arrived, they saw Lincoln sitting in the front room. He picked up a power saw and cut his femoral artery. He was rushed to the hospital where he died. When police searched the house they found Jettie Lincoln in a bed, along with their two dogs, dead. She had been deceased for several days.


April 28, 2011: Son Tran, 60

of Lowell, was allegedly beaten to death with a mallet by her husband, The Tran, 62. Police received reports of an injured woman at the residence. When they arrived Son was already dead. Tran was charged with first degree murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He was held without bail while he undergoes a psychiatric evaluation. Son Tran leaves behind four children.

May 4, 2011: Beth Spartichino, 42

of Easton, was shot and buried in a shallow grave in her backyard allegedly by her son, Mathew Worster, 17. Worster left a voicemail for his father and told his brother that he shot his mother. He said he “had to do it. I had no choice” and that he needed to do it to save his brothers. Worster became bitter and verbally abusive towards his mother a year ago when his parents were getting a divorce. During that time Spartichino’s ex-husband threatened to kill her and bury her in the backyard. Initially, Worster was charged with armed assault with intent to murder and was held on $500,000 cash bail. Subsequently, Worster was charged with murder.

June 8, 2011: Janice Santos, 39

 of Worcester, was allegedly killed by her husband Natalio Felix, 39, in their home. Felix walked into the police station and said he killed his wife. Police and EMTs found Santos in a bedroom on the second floor. She was taken to UMass Medical Center where she was pronounced dead. An autopsy is scheduled to determine cause of death. Felix has been charged with murder. Santos was the supervisor of support staff in the Worcester Superior Court Probation Department and mother of three children.

July 3, 2011: Lauren Astley, 18

of Wayland was allegedly killed by her former boyfriend, Nathaniel Fujita, 18. They had dated for three years before Astley broke it off in the spring. According to reports, Astley and Fujita exchanged phone calls and she was going to meet him after work. Fujita said she left after they had a short, awkward conversation. Astley’s body was found in a marshy area on Monday morning by a bicyclist. She was strangled with a bungee cord and had a significant wound to her neck. Police found bloody objects in Fujita’s home. He was indicted on murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

July 24, 2011: Alessa Castellon, 21

of Roslindale was allegedly shot to death by her boyfriend, Junior Fernandes, 22, of Dorchester. She was found dead in front of her friend’s home from multiple gunshot wounds. Fernandes was arrested and charged with murder and firearm offenses. He has been held without bail. Castellon leaves behind a three year old son. 


July 31, 2011: Casey Taylor, 36

was allegedly stabbed to death by his boyfriend John Lacoy, 29, of Winthrop. Police have charged Lacoy with murder; he is being held without bail. Prosecutors believe that after a fight Lacoy stabbed Taylor and then stuffed his body underneath the back port of his home. According to the investigation, on July 31, Lacoy told a friend that Taylor had drowned and, on August 3, claimed his body had been discovered and sent a text message reading “He won’t be able to leech off me anymore.” Taylor’s body was discovered after neighbors complained to police about a foul smell. While Lacoy originally denied knowing Taylor, he later acknowledged their relationship.

September 6, 2011: Milka Rivera, 39

of Lawrence, along with her children, Maxariel Montanez, 16, and Sachary Montanez, 19, were murdered by Milk’s long-term boyfriend, Jose Luis Tejeda, 40, in their home. Tejada was not the father of the children, but had a long-term relationship with Rivera. Cell phone records suggest that a fight preceded the shooting. According to Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, Tejada told a man, who called the police, outside the crime scene “I may have committed a crime.” The reports also indicate that Tejada attempted suicide but failed because he had used all the bullets. Tejada had no criminal record or restraining orders issued against him.

September 26, 2011: Patricia Frois, 24

of Marshfield, was allegedly stabbed to death by her long-time boyfriend, Marcello Almeida, 41. Frois and Almeida started their relationship in Brazil before emigrating here. Their five year old son is living in Brazil. Frois worked at both a cleaning service and fast food restaurant. Police responded to reports of an assault and found Frois in the stairwell; she was transported to the local hospital and pronounced dead. After a three hour search which included a lock-down of area schools, police found Almeida hiding in a shed. While law enforcement did not share any information about prior history of domestic violence, relatives and co-workers reported that Frois has been trying to leave the abusive relationship for about six months.

While reading these did anything stand out to you?  Did you notice that it wasn't just men killing women?  Seems that is the stereotype we think of w/ DV.  Did you notice the same sex partner incidents?  Victims of all ages. . . races. . . socioeconomic status. . . DV impacts us all.  Hopefully one day there will be no victims of DV and we can have a walk to celebrate that!  Until then MAAV will continue raising awareness and educating the community to prevent DV, teen dating violence and bullying.  

Here is a link to an article about the walk.
http://www.wickedlocal.com/melrose/newsnow/x464395256/Community-takes-a-stand-against-violence-at-annual-walk-in-Melrose#axzz1bon7ogls

If you are local and interested in getting involved with MAAV let me know.  There are all different kinds of opportunities to help out - board members, committee members, mentors, office assistants, PR, marketing, fundraising and more!



1 comment:

  1. 1. I love the community mural of hand prints.
    2. Having a singing/performing group to entertain along the route is a wonderful idea.
    3. Sorry you didn't win the ipad, what a great prize.
    4. Those victim narratives are so heartbreaking and devastating. What an excellent cause to bring awareness and support to. I can't even begin to imagine experiencing such a horrific thing.

    ReplyDelete