It was a great day in remembrance of Mary Denise Lands, and the Marshall family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the Calhoun County Prosecutor's Office, Chief Jim Schwartz of the Marshall Police Department, other members of law enforcement, Michelle Hoeksma of Safe Place Shelter, Heather Holland of TrackMissing, Father Robert Creagan of St. Joseph Catholic Church, the media, and our friends and supporters who attended Mary's vigil. Thank you again for your loyal support. With all your help we have not doubt that we will bring Mary home. Mary Lands 6th Anniversary Vigil- YouTube-
March 12, 2010 marked the 6th year anniversary when we must once again gather in hope of bringing Mary home. It will be 2,190 days since her former fiancé, Christopher Luke Pratt claimed that she walked away from their Waldon Pond apartment on a cold winter snowy night and was never heard from again. 44 hours later he called Mary's parents and asked if she was with them in California? Today, Chris Pratt sits in a Level IV Michigan prison cell convicted of felony domestic violence crimes against a more recent girl-friend. In 2008 he was sentenced to 5-15 years and will not be eligible for parole until February 2012. Prior to any parole hearing, we plan to have citizens send 1,000 letters to the Parole Board of the Michigan Department of Corrections opposing any parole. Chris Pratt is a dangerous criminal and we are asking that he remain in prison until the expiration of his sentence in 2022.
MDOC OTIS link- Inmate Christoper Luke Pratt, #673261-
We welcome you to gather with us at the Brooks Memorial Fountain at the circle in Marshall on Friday, March 12th at 11:00 A.M. As we have done on five previous anniversaries, Cliff & Anita and our good friends and supporters will release balloons in honor of Mary's memory. 45 red heart-shaped balloons will be released to signify the 45 years since Mary was born. 6 yellow heart-shaped balloons will also be released, one for each year that we have had to hold these vigils on her behalf. It appears that the winter weather will not present a problem, and the forecast is for a clear and sunny 60 degree day.
An introductory prayer will be given by Rev. Robert F. Craegan, Pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Battle Creek. We have asked members of law enforcement, Michigan Attorney General, Calhoun County Prosecutor's Office, representatives of Safe Place Shelter, and others to join us. Mary was a tragic victim of domestic violence and each year we use her anniversary not only to keep her name in the mind of the people in our community, but to remind us all about the crucial issue of domestic violence. Let's make 2010 the year that we can bring Mary home, and be assured that the person/s responsible for her disappearance and murder will be held accountable in a court of law. One person in our community can come forward and provide that final piece of the puzzle in this case. We urge you to do it now! Help us, "Bring Mary Home".
On February 24, 2010 the Marshall family attended the "2010 Summit to Fight Interpersonal Violence". The event was sponsored by Safe Place, and The Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Coordinating Council and was held at the Crossroads Church & Ministries of Marshall. Crossroads Church graciously provided a warm and comfortable setting for the day-long seminar.
Karren Kraemer of Broken Wings Network was among the speakers and Anita also spoke to the nearly 100 professionals in the audience. They included social workers, counselors, advocates, law enforcement, attorneys, and many others who share an interest in public awareness on the national tragedy of domestic violence. Anita shared numerous photographs and a video of Mary and tearfully talked about her missing daughter.
(Cliff & Anita, with Karren Kraemer
For additional information contact Jim Carlin