I believe every adult person on Earth has, at some point, for some reason, imagined their own death. Whether it be for estate planning purposes, contemplation of their life’s relevance or a simple daydream about what exists beyond mortal life, the thoughts occur, and are entirely normal. I have never met an adult human being who has considered what it would be like to lose a child, for the simple reason, that I believe, that it is unimaginable. Fortunately, very few ever experience such a tragic event. Even fewer experience the inconceivable reality of losing a child to violent crime.
As parents who have been dealt this unfair hand, we can tell you with certainty that such an event does not end one life, but no less than three lives in one horrific moment. Days come and go. Weeks turn into months. Somehow, the calendar continues to turn. Year after year those outside of the epicenter of any such tragedy move on with their lives, and rightfully so. The parents of a child taken by violence have nowhere to go. Sleep is unrestful. Breathing is no longer an involuntary action and moments of joy are quickly interrupted by anxiety and guilt. Time does not heal all wounds.
The death of a child by violence is completely avoidable. This simple fact brings on unique challenges, and according to what we all know as a “system of justice”, very straightforward resolution. We are here to tell you that our system of justice is more fallacy than it is solace.
We are, and will continue to be supporters of military personnel and law enforcement. We have known many admirable men and women who embraced their roles of responsibility and served the general public with honor, humility and dignity. Unfortunately, none of those men and women have handled our daughter’s case. Those responsible for attaining justice in her case have displayed immense dereliction of their duties. Just like those who murdered our sweet girl, the investigators, elected and appointed prosecutors and active duty U.S. Marine Corps Officers creating the ensuing injustice have names. Those men and women, regardless of uniform and affiliation, need to be held accountable.
Confirmation bias in a major crimes investigation is never acceptable. The path of least resistance will never lead to truth and justice. It is a wrenching feeling to become aware that people we have always respected because of their oath and uniform; people we believed would be our strongest allies in our moment of great need and despair, could actually be so disinterested and lacking in empathy. These public servants range from lazy to incompetent, and in a few instances, corrupt! They failed to put themselves in our shoes, realize that these crimes could have happened to any young lady. It could have been their own sister, wife or even their daughter. Without conscience, they continually ignore our calls, our emails, our pleas and our daughter’s God given rights, distracted, instead, by an easy victory to add to their resume. All of this while we remind ourselves to breathe, wait endlessly to be treated with the simple dignity of a response to questions and concerns, all the while praying that this will not happen to another family. Another child.
This is not justice as any of us were taught to understand it. This is not justice by a jury of the accused’s peers. This is no justice at all for the one who needs it most. Her name is Morgan Renee Patten. She was abducted and killed by two enlisted members of the United States Marine Corps on November 8, 2019, at the age of 24. Morgan’s story needs to be told!