Two Years Later, Farmville's Kindness Remains

Published 2:56 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Editor, The Herald:

In the fall of 2009, my only child, Mark, and my only grandchild, Emma, were horribly murdered. This terrible thing irreparably altered my life as well as your community.

While my loss remains. I am compelled to publicly give thanks. Mark's church congregation, your Town, and the surrounding area have been more compassionate, loving, and understanding than can be imagined. These positive things stay with me. I thank all of them.

The investigation and legal process were personally exhausting and emotionally draining. While necessary, each phone call, meeting, court date, etc., compounded my loss and made me relive everything. I could not have gotten through this without the kindness of others. The Farmville Police Department, especially Officers Stimpson and Hogan, were well aware of my loss and made me as comfortable as possible. They were very thoughtful. I thank all law enforcement officers involved.

Helping me through the legal process was James R. Ennis, the Commonwealth Attorney. He and his office kept me informed. They had to relate terrible, heart-wrenching circumstances. Mr. Ennis did this personally in a kind, caring manner. He explained all potential outcomes and options giving me plenty of time to reflect. Ultimately, the decision about Mark's case was mine. The decision on Emma's case was shared with her maternal grandparents. My decision was respected and honored. The case ended without appeal and let me try to move forward. I thank Mr. Ennis and his office for their consideration and extra effort.

Last, I thank The Farmville Herald for reporting this tragedy as tastefully as possible. The events lent themselves to “tabloid reporting”. That did not occur.

Jan Niederbrock

Savoy, IL

(Editor's note: Dear Mrs. Niederbrock, you and your family remain in our thoughts and in our prayers)