Thursday, December 4, 2008
by Susan Murphy-Milano
It was the morning of February 18, 2007. Melody Schmitt was walking her dog as she did each morning before going about her daily routine. Her cell phone rang, it startled her. It was a new phone and she had yet to figure out how to turn down the distracting ringer. Melody answered the phone. Melody’s hands trembled as she disconnected the call. At the end of the residential driveway, Melody fell to her knees. All Mothers have a special place where their children always reside when all is well. When a mother loses a child, it is like a violent surgery from within, without anesthetic.
Twenty-one years earlier, almost to the day, Melody gave birth to a beautiful 7 pound boy whom she named Joshua. Joshua Whittier was found dead at 6:30 A.M. on February 18, 2007, in Navarre Beach, Florida. His body was lying face down in the sand at the water’s edge near Juana’s Pagoda Bar. His chin, knees and wrists were scraped as if he had been dragged there. A pack of (dry) cigarettes and a bottle of Corona beer were close by. His wallet, that earlier had contained $900 from a newly cashed paycheck stub, was found up the beach.
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