Update- 11/24/2008- WWMT Channel3 News-11/18/2008
WOOD TV8 News-AG Considers Lands case 11/18/2008
WZZM 13News 11/17/2008
WXMI Fox17News 11/15/2008
Anita Marshall would like people to remember this particular video, the words and the song by Boss, Bruce Springsteen..
Oh Mary Don't you weep, Mary Lands-4th Anniversary Vigil, 03/12/2008
January 12, 2009 wil sadly marked, 4 years & 10 months since Mary Denise Lands purportedly walked away from her apartment at Waldon Pond Town Homes, #7, 1200 Arm Street in Marshall, Michigan at approximately 10:00 P.M. on the wintry evening of Friday, March 12, 2004. Weather conditions on that date and time were recorded to be; 19 degrees, 10-15 mile per-hour winds, intermittent snow flurries, with snow on the ground. Mary was attired in light-weight blue medical scrub pants with a "Sponge Bob" print scrub shirt, soft slip-on athletic shoes with no heel back, and wearing her favorite winter brown leather bomber jacket. This was the report of her fiancé, Chris Pratt. 44 hours after she allegedly went missing he called her mother and father in California to ask if they had seen Mary? The family then notified the Marshall Police Department.
The 5th winter season since Mary disappeared is just around the corner. Before long it will be the 5th Thanksgiving Day, the 5th Christmas Day and the 5th New Year that the Marshall family have endured not knowing the fate of their beloved daughter? Chris Pratt still refuses to speak or offer help in the search for Mary as he sits in prison cell at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia. As most people are aware, he was sentenced to a minimum of four years and eight months to a maximum of 15 years in prison. He was convicted by a Calhoun County jury in December 2007 for felony assault and other violent crimes against another girl-friend. He has now been incarcerated for 16 months. A possible parole could occur as early as February 2012. In about 3 years Christopher Luke Pratt could again be stalking the streets of Marshall placing victims, families, and society in fear.
The tenure of Acting Police Chief, Sgt. Scott McDonald of the Marshall Police Department seems to have lost focus, direction and interest in Mary’s case. He recently made a comment. "I don’t know what all this talk is about with Sgt. Tim Bryant?" He has been investigated and cleared of any allegations." This comment from the same acting police chief who claims to have initiated a drug search with K-9 units at the Marshall High School. That was a definitive lie. Maybe, if and when a new professional police chief from the outside is finally appointed there will be some positive change for the community and Mary's case? It has been 9 months since Chief Mike Olsen either resigned or was fired? Why is it that Marshall City Manager Chris Olson has not yet named a new police chief? It is this same city manager who met with Cliff & Anita Marshall after taking over his new job. He was not happy with our criticism of the police department in their mishandling of the case. He stated, "You are all part of the problem, not part of the solution." His poor demeanor and attitide toward Mary caused Anita Marshall to walk out of the meeting. To this day, he has never called the family or offered support in Mary's case. He has never appeared at a single event or even supported the family with a gesture of empathy.
Cliff Marshall related his frustration to me about an incident with Marshall Mayor Bruce Smith. In the past Cliff has attended and spoken at Marshall Council meetings. Many of us have done so about Mary’s case. After one recent meeting, Mayor Smith walked by Cliff and asked if he was supposed to speak? Cliff said no. Then Mayor Smith said, and who are you? He didn’t have a clue that Cliff was Mary’s father. Mayor Smith is another typical politician in Marshall and along with City Manager Chris Olson never appeared at any of Mary’s vigils or events. With an attitude like this from certain appointed and elected city officials it is no why the Mary Denise Lands case has not been solved. Out of sight, out of mind.
The Marshall community is now joyous and festive preparing for another happy holiday season. Events include fundraising for Dramatic Action Theatre Company, Marshall Scarecrow Days, Haunted Trail, Marshall Main Street, Nutcracker, the annual holiday parade, a Christmas candlelight walk, and It's a Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Show at the Franke. It may be a wonderful life for some, but not for all living and working in Marshall. Some things don't seem to matter, especially with the MPD investigation of Mary Denise Lands? If you listen to city officials there is no crime and there are no problems in Marshall. The city is just one great place to visit that will put a happy face and smile on everyone. The Marshall family, friends and supporters have been to the Brooks Circle Fountain at least 8 times since Mary disappeared. It didn't put any smile on our faces.
For the last several months some politicians seem more concerned about their election and re-election than in anything else. What about the question of justice for the person/s responsible for the disappearance and murder of Mary Denise Lands? After the elections next month, will there be a new direction? We really don’t know? We can only hope. Last March law enforcement officials gathered at Mary’s 4th Anniversary Vigil holding a sign, Where is Mary? They stated, "We will never forget." Mary's Vigil- YouTube, 03/12/08 You all made that commitment to the public and we hold you to your word. You cannot forget about Mary.
Letter to the Editor, Battle Creek Enquirer- November 8, 2008
Clifford & Anita Marshall and I wish to express our congratulations to Susan Mladenoff, prosecutor-elect of Calhoun County. It will be a difficult job but with her dedicated experience, professionalism and integrity we believe she will again be a great prosecutor for justice and our community.
The Marshall Police Department has clearly displayed their lack of empathy, ability or desire to solve the Mary Lands case. The City of Marshall police and public officials have told outright lies to the family. Their only objective is to ignore Mary’s case, and hope it all just goes away.
Well, we are not going to go away. We hope that Ms. Mladenoff will take a fresh look at all the evidence related to Mary’s case.
We have trust in the professionalism of the Michigan State Police and other agencies that would be able to assist the Prosecutor’s Office in closing this case.
We pray that Mary Denise Lands will be a priority and the person/s responsible for her disappearance and murder will be held accountable in a court of law.
On November 12, 2008 Mary will have been missing for 4 years & 8 months.
It’s about time we bring her home.
Justinian Investigative Services
Battle Creek, Michigan
A single person in our community can bring this all to a close today. You are asked to make one telephone call for Cliff & Anita with the genuine tip that can bring their daughter home. If you are afraid to contact the Marshall Police Department you can call another agency or directly contact D/Sgt. Mike Scott of the Michigan State Police, White Pigeon Post- 269.483.7612, D/Sgt. Mike Salmen, Battle Creek Post- 269.968.6115, or the Calhoun County Prosecutor's Office- 269.969.6980. You can do this anonymously, but either way make the call.
Please help, bring Mary home.