Young South Dakota Mother Remembered This Easter
Randi Gerlach, not yet 21 years, was reported missing in February 2022. Her body was found on March 1st. Foul play from the beginning and Thursday, April 14th formal charges were issued. According to Dakota News Now;
The man arrested in connection to death investigators deemed “suspicious” in Lincoln County is now facingmurder charges, authorities say. Twenty-two-year-old Jackson Phillips is now charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, and first-degree manslaughter, according to Lincoln County State’s Attorney Tom Wollman. The charges stem from an incident on March 1 when deputies found a dead woman at a residence near Highway 11 and 270th street, roughly two miles southeast of Sioux Falls. Authorities later identified her as 20-year-old Randi Gerlach.
I wrote about Randi, earlier this year. The story is told of a little girl, with muscles. A little girl who loved to sing. A little girl who was in fact, still a girl when she herself became a mother. The story was and is still difficult to continue. I originally wrote the story; Young South Dakota Mother's Death Spurs Plea for Help.
We had talked back in March, before the funeral. I met with Randi's Dad, Jody Gerlach, and her mother, Kara Riedel. I worked with Jody (Joey) years ago on Kickin' Country. Jody was in town from the Phoenix area. You could tell he was exhausted and overwhelmed. Yet, he was positive. Positive and hopeful that somehow, some good could come from the situation. The same determined, yet positive look from mother, Kara Riedel. They both wanted the platform, a platform they didn't ask for, to end up doing good.
This story is one we hope you share with your friends. Check out the Facebook Page they have set up to 'remember' Randi and to help spread the word about Domestic Violence. The stories are updated regularly and feature pictures and stories. They also speak of the unimaginable loss.
Here is an example from their Facebook page.
I encourage you to click the link. Buy the bracelet and stay tuned. I'll have more stories about Randi coming in the future. And thank you for sharing this story with your Facebook friends to help further spread the word.
The stories and posts, while difficult to read are a reminder that things are not always great on the homefront. Relationships can be difficult and difficult situations can seem impossible to get out of. Here are some resources for you to take advantage of now if you even think you may be living in an abusive relationship.
- Children’s Inn, Sioux Falls
- The Compass Center, Sioux Falls
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 800-799-7233
- The South Dakota Coalition Ending Domestic and Sexual Violence
- South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault
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