All That I Have Written Is Straw. . .

Meanderings of a Catholic Devout

Lost in the stacks

with 2 comments


Packing to relocate not only involves my apartment, it also involves nine years of paper from my office, too. Amid the shuffling and recycling, I came across a picture of a girl and some obituaries of people I know who’ve passed on to eternity. I am at peace with the dear souls of departed loved ones and friends, but the girl is most haunting.

It was in April 2009 and I was at scripture study on Thursday night as usual. It hadn’t been a particularly great study group that night for whatever reason, but we were clearing our bibles away and stacking up chairs in a church hall. Suddenly, a man and an older woman came in quickly, asking our leader if he was a priest. Our leader, of course, isn’t a priest. They frantically needed to find one, though. The man was crying.

Because I was the church’s newsletter volunteer, I happened to have the church office phone number memorized from typing it many times. I also happened to know that if you call the office number after hours, there’s an option to select for urgent situations to get in touch with a priest (for example, if Last Rites are needed). I told him the number. Our leader, in his style, was able to calm the man down. He told us what happened: his fiancée, or maybe his wife?, had gone missing.

She apparently disappeared into the night. Her personal belongings had been found in her abandoned car.  Nothing foul about it, but she just vanished. He had been searching for two days and just now the police department was beginning to look into the situation as a Missing Persons case. His mom was the elder.

We were stunned and our leader decided to break into prayer quickly. We all earnestly bowed our heads and listened to his prayer, then went into an Our Father and Hail Mary. He was appreciative of the spiritual support.

I had to leave, realizing it was late and there was nothing more I could do but pray.

I still wonder about her and the man. He seemed so young, maybe early 20s. His tears were real. It was the first time I’d ever been confronted with a tragedy of this type, facing head-on a “victim” of this bizarre mystery. It was sobering.

I was determined not to forget her. I searched the headlines and local news about her case for a few weeks after this, but to no avail. A few months later, I remembered her name and searched her again, this time finding her picture on a National Missing Persons website.  I printed it. I probably prayed for a few days about her again, but her picture must have gotten lost under the papers on my desk. Over time, she fell deeper into the stack.

Now that I’m clearing it out, two years later, I found her again. The gravity of the situation came back to me. Again I searched and found a site on Facebook dedicated to finding her. She is still missing. Random people post things about her on the wall and apparently a little girl who doesn’t know her leaves her a message each week. She writes things like, “I don’t even know you, but I love you and I miss you. Let me know when I can meet you.”

There is a hole in my heart for this woman who I don’t know. I probably never would have known her. I probably would have never known about her predicament at all if her husband hadn’t sought out the Church.

Saint Anthony, please pray for Kellie Ann Hall.

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Written by Written Straw

March 24, 2011 at 9:56 am

2 Responses

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  1. Do you mean her boyfriend? She was not married, according to all the articles I have read. Also please make sure the authorities are aware of your encounter and all of the details you or anyone else remembers of that encounter. Even the tiniest detail could be important. Thank you.

    pat

    February 19, 2013 at 4:25 am

    • You are probably correct about him being her boyfriend. I would be happy to tell what I remember about that evening to the authorities.

      Written Straw

      February 19, 2013 at 9:06 am


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