At Long Last…
Thursday morning (January 19, 2017), I wrote an email to someone, and in it I said I didn’t think Corey’s case would ever be solved. I’d finally accepted that though I’d hope to finally have his case resolved, this may never happen. I would have to accept this if I was going to survive it.
My husband Bob and I started our errands for the day. This included delivering banners to all of the local Chuck E. Cheese’s in the metro area for a fundraiser. While we were driving toward the Overland Park store, I began to pray.
“Lord, thank You for the support we are getting from our community. Thank You for the opportunity to help other families as they go through the turmoil of losing a loved one. Thank You for introducing me to so many wonderful people since Corey died. Thank You for helping our family mend as we deal with this. And if it is Your will that Corey’s case should not be solved, I will accept this. I love You, Lord. Thank You for all that You do in my life. – Amen”
I opened my eyes after having this conversation with my Heavenly Father, and saw we were almost to our destination. And as my mind began to go over what I needed to tell the manager at the Chuck E. Cheese’s, my phone rang.
It was the sergeant over Corey’s homicide case. I looked at Bob with wide eyes. When I answered, I noticed his voice seemed peppier than usual. He asked me if Bob was with me and if we would be available to come to the Independence Police Department. I told him we could be there as soon as we finished our errand and made our way back to Independence.
I then asked, “Does this mean there’s good news?”
He replied, “It means there’s been a development in your case.” He wouldn’t say more.
My eyes began to get glossy. I didn’t want to become too hopeful, but my entire body told me that something important was about to happen.
When we reached the Independence Police Department, we were greeted by the detective responsible for Corey’s case. He escorted us to the second floor, just for us to be told we were going to meet downstairs. But in the process, I saw the Prosecuting Attorney for Jackson Co. in the hall. Her presence didn’t seem strange to me (we were in a police department), but Bob says he knew immediately why she was there.
When we made our way into the conference room, there was a table that seemed to go on for 20 feet! The Prosecuting Attorney, Sergeant, Detective, assisting detectives, Major, Chief… I don’t know for sure who else were all sitting around this huge table. (I think they might have even brought in the janitor!!)
Once we sat in our chairs, the Prosecuting Attorney began to speak. “Michelle, I want you to know that what I’m about to tell you is due to the hard work and diligence of everyone around this table…”
Somewhere around this point, the Detective became excited about his news and he jumped in. “We’ve made an arrest in Corey’s case. We had an incident involving a high speed chase and weapons charge, and while we had the suspect in our custody, we were able to ask him about Corey’s homicide. The suspect confessed to having killed him.”
I was stunned. I didn’t even realize I was crying until the tears were on my chin!
I asked who the culprit was, and they showed me a paper with his name. It looked familiar, but I drew a blank. The Detective then said, “You know him as Cody.”
I couldn’t contain the tears any more. I slumped down in my chair and laid my head on the table as I sobbed.
I named Cody as a suspect the very night Corey was attacked. I’ve known it all along.
I collected myself, and sat up in my chair. At that point, the Prosecuting Attorney told me that this wouldn’t have been solved without my efforts to keep Corey’s name in the spotlight. They even praised me for starting Corey’s Network… but I didn’t need to know this. I already had exactly what I needed… my son’s murderer is in jail.
I spent the next 12 hours answering messages, calls from the press, emails, and calls from family and friends. I slept 2 hours that night.
When I let Corey’s brothers know their brother’s killer was caught, Justin began to cry. It was awkward for him, because he was in class.
My big sister called me sobbing.
My ears are still ringing. I slept all day yesterday (which is probably why I’m still up!).
I know that we have miles to go before this is over. More than likely there will be a trial. And of course, there will be all of the headaches involved in that.
But for the first time since July 27, 2013, WE are no longer in jail. The killer is in jail, and WE are free!
I realize now that throughout this ordeal I wanted to control when my son’s murder was solved. I’m really not good at standing back and letting someone else take control when it comes to my children.
However, my Father in Heaven was always in control. Once I was willing to let Him have the wheel, He answered my prayer.
After three and a half years, I can finally take a deep breath.
Thank you for seeing me through this part of my journey.
We still have miles to go.