I'd heard the story from some one here at work last week. It even made national news. I'd read the accounts, but never made any personal connection. I knew vaguely of the peace officer - I know that she ran a boarding stable just outside of my hometown. She moved there long after I left.
I left home right after graduation from high school - quite literally the next day. So I don't think of people by their married names, so when I read this story a few days ago, I never made the connection. Today I was perusing the obits in my hometown paper and I still didn't recognize the name, but continued reading until I came to the parent's name and took another look at the photo. I went through school with Julie. A kinder, dearer person one could never meet. We ran in the same circles, not close with each other, particullary, but had a lot of close friends in common. She worked in the hometown grocery store - had since she was 15 years old. So I made it a point to see her every time I went home. In fact, many times she was the first person I saw that I knew in town. I always made it a point to check out in her lane and visit a little bit. And she would always make it a point to tell others that we knew that she'd seen me and that I was in town for a while.