Angel's wings  

Monday, July 7, 1997

This is the first message sent out to our friends on the Internet. Some of the information turned out to be erroneous, but it was what we had at the time. Ed was in California when this was sent by Chris.

Most of you are more accustomed to communiques from Ed, but it's me, Chris, who's writing this time. We've suffered a very great tragedy. Ed is in California to claim the body of his daughter, Andrea--Annie to us--who died on July 4th as the victim of a savage murder. Her body was found yesterday (Sunday ) in a field north of Fresno, California, where she was to begin her senior year this fall at Fresno State University.

On the assumption--I hope not terribly wrong--that most of you will prefer to know some details, I'll tell you what I can.

When Annie didn't appear as scheduled at a friend's house Friday evening, and when she didn't show up for work Saturday morning, her friend Ruth went to the Fresno police. Ruth pointed the way to Jay Travis, a young man with whom Annie had been living for maybe a year. About two months ago, Annie moved out of their apartment. She claimed (to us) that she was tired of buying all the food and doing all the work, while Jay's buddies crashed with them and ate up everything in the house. Made sense at the time. Now we've learned that Jay had been knocking Annie around, and the relationship seems to have been pretty much a textbook cycle of abusive behavior. Once they split up, they remained "friends" and continued to see each other. But Annie recently began dating another man, which of course places the final, fatal element in this classic, tragic story.

Annie was killed with a shotgun. Then her body was set afire. [This was later discovered to be incorrect. Annie was shot twice with a 25-caliber gun.]

The Fresno police took Jay in for questioning Sunday and held him for over eight hours. Later they released him for lack of evidence. No weapon has been found, but Jay is known to own a gun. The police detective has told Ed that Jay was cocky and uncooperative. She described him as a punk, and she said "We know he did it, and I promise you we'll get him." While we don't like the idea of this guy on the loose, at the same time we can appreciate the cops' desire to make a tight case. The detective told Ed she expects to arrest Jay tomorrow (Tuesday). Let's hope she's right.

Annie and Jay have visited us twice, once last August and again this past January. We've spent quite a bit of time with the two of them. We both concluded that Jay was a nice enough guy, although not really sharp enough to keep a girl like Annie interested. He never exhibited signs of violence, although he is adept in the martial arts and loves "kick flicks"--movies full of all that stuff and not much else.

Ed is with Gloria, Annie's mother, who lives near Santa Cruz, California. Together they will clean out Annie's apartment, which the police have thoroughly searched and left a mess. Arrangements will be made in the next couple of days. I expect to join Ed later in the week, so I'll be here at the same old stand for a couple of days or so.


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