Family waits with annoy and hope: Is daughter’s genocide related to Jesse Matthew?

October 13, 2014 - photo frame


Cassandra Morton went blank on Oct 10, 2009.Cassandra Morton went blank on Oct 10, 2009.

Cassandra Morton went blank on Oct 10, 2009.

Cassandra Morton went blank on Oct 10, 2009.Cassandra Morton went blank on Oct 10, 2009.

Cassandra Morton went blank on Oct 10, 2009.

Cassandra Morton went blank on Oct 10, 2009.

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Cassandra Morton never became a domicile name like some of a other women. Not like Morgan Harrington. Or Hannah Graham. Even for a people in a historically black Tinbridge Hill area of Lynchburg, where clarity of village and verbal story thrive, memories of Morton are hazy.

“Wasn’t she a lady whose physique they found adult on a mountain?” people ask.

Morton went blank on Oct 10, 2009. Several weeks later, a hiker detected a 23-year-old’s decomposed physique on Candlers Mountain, nearby Camp Hydaway, a shelter owned by Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.

Lynchburg military and a Campbell County Sheriff’s Office wanted for Morton’s torpedo in vain. A year after her death, authorities certified their leads had left cold.

As a years wore on, Morton’s family schooled to live though meaningful who committed this iniquitous act. Or because she was attacked of life. Their wish of training a law discontinued with time.

Until recently.

One night final month, University of Virginia tyro Hannah Graham left after going out with friends. The detain of a think in that box has stirred authorities to take another demeanour during Morton’s genocide and several other unsolved cases of women who were murdered, raped or went missing.

Police have charged Jesse L. Matthew Jr. with abduction with a vigilant to fester in Graham’s disappearance.

They pronounced debate justification also links Matthew to during slightest dual other cases: a genocide of Morgan Harrington, whose physique was detected in Albemarle County in 2010, and a 2005 rape of a 26-year-old lady in Fairfax City.

Matthew was also indicted of a 2002 rape during Liberty University in Lynchburg, yet charges were not pressed. The Campbell County Sheriff ‘s Office is questioning any probable tie between Matthew and Morton. Sheriff Steve Hutcherson declined serve criticism on an ongoing investigation.

The outcome of all this has been that suddenly, roughly 5 years after her death, Morton’s face is all over a media again. It has meant torture, all over again, for her mother, Catherine Morton.

She again felt a kind of startle that jolted her when military showed adult during her doorstep several days after Thanksgiving 2009. They showed her a sketch of a body. She famous her daughter’s moccasins and beige jacket. They told her they had matched Cassandra’s dental annals to a physique that was discovered.

Catherine fell to a floor.

“She hasn’t been right ever since,” says her father and Cassandra’s stepfather, Rawleigh Myers.

Overshadowed by a ‘damsel in distress’?

Cassandra Morton’s cremated stays rest in an vessel her mom keeps by her bed. It’s a consistent sign of a daughter she lost; a sign that her torpedo stays unpunished.

Every morning, Catherine Morton prays for her daughter’s soul. She takes comfort in meaningful that 250 people showed adult during her daughter’s wake during a Tree of Life Ministries a few blocks adult a highway from her rented duplex on Campbell Avenue.

She swallows 8 or 9 pills a day to provide her basin and hypertension. There’s not most she can do about a annoy that rises within. Why did her daughter’s genocide not make inhabitant headlines like Graham or Harrington? Why did no one from a state come to assistance her in her hour of grief and pain?

Morton’s genocide was never large news. And it was always overshadowed by news about Harrington, who went blank 6 days after Morton vanished.

In fact, when Morton’s physique was discovered, some headlines wondered if it competence be that of Harrington, whose relatives had been outspoken from a initial day about their daughter’s bizarre disappearance from a Metallica unison during a University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville.

They seemed on radio and combined a website to find probity for their daughter.

“There’s been so most broadside about Morgan, about Hannah,” Myers says.

He is blind in his left eye and suffers from high blood pressure. He used to work for a propagandize system, afterwards achieved peculiar jobs here and there. But these days, he and Catherine Morton hardly tarry by collecting disability.

“The Harringtons can means a prerogative to find their daughter’s killer,” he says, sitting on a tiny front porch cluttered with things. “We’re bad and black. Nobody cares.”

His stepdaughter, Myers says, didn’t fit a form of blank women who make headlines. Like Elizabeth Smart, Laci Peterson and Natalee Holloway. Or Harrington and Graham.

Click to read: Mark Holmberg says not all blank persons cases are combined equalClick to read: Mark Holmberg says not all blank persons cases are combined equal

Click to read: Mark Holmberg says not all blank persons cases are combined equal

“It’s tough to repudiate that competition has something to do with a fact that appealing immature white women get vastly some-more coverage when they disappear,” says A. Barton Hinkle, an editorial author during a Richmond Times-Dispatch, who wrote about a ostensible Missing White Woman Syndrome in a new column.

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson initial described a media mindfulness in a 2005 mainstay in that he described “Damsels in Distress.”

“A lady contingency be white. This requirement is nonnegotiable. It helps if her support is of measure that breathless wire radio reporters can credibly report as ‘petite,’ and it also helps if she’s a kind of lady who wouldn’t unequivocally mind being called ‘petite,’ a lady with a good understanding of princess in her personality. She contingency be appealing — also nonnegotiable. Her mercantile standing should be center category or higher, though an difference can be done in a box of wartime.

“Put all this together, and we get 24-7 coverage,” Robinson wrote. “The disappearance of a man, or of a lady of color, can beget a brief flurry, though never a full lady treatment.”

Similar comments were done in Cleveland, after a bodies of 11 black women were found in a “house of horrors” in 2009.

“In all their coverage, sensitive as it competence be, a [Cleveland] Plain Dealer never raises a bigger issue. What done these women such easy targets was being black, being women and being from a rarely segregated and desperately bad easterly side of Cleveland,” Angie Schmitt, initial editor of Rust Wire, wrote a year after a bodies were discovered.

“Nobody was going to rip adult a city looking for a few black women from a easterly side with rough pasts.”

Justice for everyone?

Morton grew adult in and around Lynchburg one of 3 siblings. Her relatives separated, and when Catherine Morton married Myers about 12 years ago, he embraced her as his own.

Myers never had most hit with his possess daughter from a prior relationship; Cassandra filled that void. He desired to hear her call him “Daddy.”

Myers adjusts a ball top hugging his head. “Relax,” it says. “God is in control.”

But he is distant from loose articulate about Cassandra. Catherine Morton motionless she had had adequate of reporters after Graham’s box done a news. She had concluded to pronounce with me though altered her mind. She creates it transparent she’s dissapoint her daughter’s name has been dredged adult again. She tells her father to “keep it short.”

But Meyers wants to talk. He wants to keep Cassandra’s memory alive. At a burial final year orderly by “Help Save The Next Girl,” a organisation started by Harrington’s parents, Myers spoke publicly about Cassandra.

“She was loved,” he told a crowd, among them a families of 9 Virginia women whose cases sojourn unresolved.

Myers says his stepdaughter wasn’t perfect. She had depressed in and out of trouble, changed from one home to another. She was arrested in 2005 for theft. The print that was used in newspapers and radio when she went blank was, ironically, a military mop shot.

She dabbled with drugs and men, Meyers says. She got profound and gave birth to dual daughters. She was ostensible to check into a reconstruction trickery dual days after she went missing.

She did not fit a design of a all-American lady subsequent door. But that, says her family, doesn’t meant she should go though justice.

Authorities have not pronounced anything about a justification they have on Matthew. Cassandra Morton’s family has no thought either she, Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington are related in some chilling way.

They know usually this: For a initial time in years, they bay wish again of training a truth, however heartless that competence be.

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