The body of Kelsey Smith
was found yesterday at Longview Lake, in south Kansas City. I didn't know her or her family, but we live in the same part of town. Kelsey just graduated from the high school my children will attend. She was abducted from a Target parking lot outside a mall where we do some of our shopping. I have friends who live fairly close to Longview Lake, which seems to be a favorite place for our area's monsters: it's a big, remote park that's not far from any point in the metro, and it doesn't get a lot of visitors.
Details are going to come out quickly, I'm sure, far more details than I want to know. The police have arrested a suspect, a 26-year-old man from Olathe. They don't know if she knew him or not, but it's very unlikely she did. According to the videotapes from Target, Kelsey was getting in her car when a person ran up to her and pushed her in. Plus, Overland Park kids tend to mix with other Overland Park or Lenexa kids, at least this far north of I-435.
We'll probably hear a lot about Edwin Hall's motives and methods, especially if he's connected to the disappearance of Kara Kopetsky, a 17-year-old from Belton, where Longview Lake is located. She was last seen a month ago.
But Hall's motives, if he is indeed the one who killed Kelsey Smith, will only explain his side of things and won't actually address why Kelsey died.
Kelsey died for daring to be born and insisting to live as a woman.
As an aside, hundreds of volunteers canvassed the area looking for her. Those volunteers and teenagers who knew Kelsey at school and church met at Hillcrest Covenant Church yesterday after the news broke about finding her body. Mark Seversen is the Senior Pastor, and he spoke to them, saying:
“You did not fail. You did not fail. You did not fail. You did not fail. You did an extraordinary thing. You stepped in and you stood for Kelsey. And you gave your energy and you gave your hearts to it and you made a statement about how extraordinary Kelsey is and how important her life is.”
That's not just a good thing for the people to hear, it was the right thing, the correct thing. They didn't fail. And I hope that the web of support that has surrounded the Smiths since this began will not falter now, and that those who have worked so hard to find Kelsey will now expend their efforts upon her family.