Friday, March 18, 2011

Mary Lands Memorial- "Thank you for your support"

Clifford & Anita Marshall would like to express their deepest appreciation to the wonderful people who turned out today for Mary's Memorial Tribute. The event was highlighted by dignitaries of the law enforcement community that included Marshall Police Chief Jim Schwartz, Calhoun County Sheriff Al Byam, Calhoun County Prosecutor Susan Mladendoff, D/Lt. Scott McDonald, and Michigan State Police D/Sgt. Mike Salman. In attendance and speaking on the issue of domestic violence were Michigan House Rep. Kate Segal, Jennifer Fopma, Executive Director of S.A.F.E. Place, and Karren Kraemer of the Broken Wings Foundation in Wisconsin. Also discussing Mary's life was Sheryl Tuck, office manager of Day One Family HealthCare, which was Mary's employer in Battle Creek. All the people were quite moved with the slide presentation of Mary's life from infancy to the last known photograph of her that was taken with Cliff & Anita on December 31, 2003. Three months and twelve days later she reportedly walked away from her Waldon Pond apartment, and was never seen or heard from again. Her fiance, Christopher Luke Pratt, at the time waited 44 hours to call Mary's parent's in California and ask if they had seen her? He is now serving a prison sentence of 5-15 years for a domestic assault on a more recent girl-friend. He is eligible for release in February 2012.
A letter was read to the audience from Mary's older sister, Gina, who resides in California about the loss of Mary to her family.
After the tribute, Cliff & Anita released one gold "star" balloon with a card attached bearing Mary's picture and the date she disappeared, March 12, 2004. It blew over the church and disappeared to the north.
A special thanks must be given to Bishop Jeremy Hyde, and his staff, of the Dexter Lake Church of God in Battle Creek. These are the individuals responsible for making this ceremony a success.
The police officials made it clear that solving Mary's case was a priority, as well as continued public awareness on the national tragedy of domestic violence. If you are willing, please make a donation to S.A.F.E. Place in Battle Creek in Mary's name. By doing so, you will honor her memory and help them with needed funds for the shelter. As reported, in 2010 they provided 11,000 nights of shelter to 1,600 persons, of which 54% were children.
Battle Creek Enquirer, News Link- March 13, 2011
On April 13, 2011 the parent's of Mary Denise Lands will be present in the probate courtroom of Calhoun County Judge Michael Jaconette and ask that their daughter be officially declared deceased. Although this may be the last time that the public will hear from Mary's parents, rest assured that we will never give up in seeking to bring to justice the person/s responsible for the disappearance and murder of Mary Denise Lands.
We will bring Mary home!
Jim Carlin

Update- March 18, 2011-The Marshall's and I met with Emmett Township Public Safety Director Mike Olson this morning, and again like all our meetings with law enforcement it was very positive and productive. As much as Mike wanted to attend last week's event he was absent because of illness. He is however, like all of us committed to solving this case and bringing Mary home.
Thank you Chief.

(Photo-The Marshall's, by Trace Chrinstenson, Battle Creek Enquirer)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Farewell to Mary Denise Lands- "Memorial Tribute"- March 12, 2011

Today, Saturday, March 12th, it has been seven long years since Mary disappeared.....
The Marshall family wish to announce a final farewell memorial that will honor the memory of Mary Denise Lands. The tribute is planned for Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 1:00 P.M. This date will mark the 7th anniversary of Mary's disappearance from Marshall, Michigan, in which she allegedly walked off from her Waldon Pond apartment after a disagreement with her fiancé.

We have the unique and wonderful privilege of this event being hosted by the kind and gracious Bishop Jeremy Hyde, and his staff of pastors, at the Dexter Lake Church of God, 1555 East Michigan Avenue in Battle Creek (1 mile west of the casino). We are utilizing this solemn occasion to not only say good-bye to Mary, but as a forum to promote public awareness in our community against domestic violence. The 90 minute tribute will include remarks by Jennifer Fopma, Executive Director of S.A.F.E. Place,
Rep. Kate Segal of the Michigan 62nd House District, Calhoun County Prosecutor Susan Mladenoff, Sheriff Allen Byam, Chief Jim Schwartz of the Marshall Police Department, Emmett Towsnhip Public Safety Director Mike Olson, Karren Kraemer of Broken Wings Foundation, and other members of law enforcement, and state and county government.

Update- March 10, 2011- Battle Creek Enquirer News Link-

WOODTV8 News Story Link- March 3, 2011- Mary Lands Memorial, & 7 other stories-

Cliff & Anita were never aware that their beloved daughter, Mary was a victim of domestic violence until after her disappearance. They hope that this event will bring light to the subject and perhaps save other victims who may be enduring this problem in their daily lives. There will be a slide presentation and video of Mary's life as well as comments by the family. If one person can avoid the national tragedy of domestic violence, Mary will not have died in vain.

Please come out and say hello to Cliff & Anita, and support them in their time of need. Please plan to attend the memorial. If you have any questions, please feel free to call or email:

(the above 2 photographs are of a quilt that was hand-made by Mary's sister from various medical scrubs she wore while employed at Day One Family HealthCare in Battle Creek)
Jim Carlin
Update- March 10, 2011- Battle Creek Enquirer News Link-