Today, I woke up to the best headline I have read in a while: “Merrill rescued.” I would like to extend my warmest of thanks to our local newspaper for covering this story.
Previously, the story on Linnea Lomax, the girl who attended El Dorado High School and has recently gone missing, graced the front page of the Democrat. I graduated last year with Linnea and was deeply troubled when I heard the news of her disappearance. I felt disbelief and confusion; I couldn’t understand why something like this would happen to such a wonderful and sweet girl. When I saw her face on the front of the paper, I felt a twinge relief. People are doing something to find her, I thought to myself. I wanted to see her face everywhere, so that everyone could help in the search. The more places she was seen, maybe the easier she could be recognized.
A few editions of the paper later, I saw Kristi Merrill’s story. I felt gratitude the moment I read the headline. Our paper is doing it again, I thought, they’re helping out another poor girl like Linnea. I realized the same emotions of disbelief and confusion I have felt during the disappearance of Linnea has also been felt by Merrill’s mother, father, family and friends. I realized Linnea is not the only girl to go missing, and that the Mountain Democrat was doing its part in the search for these missing girls.
Now that Merrill is found, I knew I had to write this letter and offer thanks from the bottom of my heart for helping to find her. I am proud to live in a county where the media does what it was originally created to do, provide information to its people, not with an agenda to fill, but rather with the purpose of covering stories and spreading the news so that something might be done to help those in our county who are in need. This story is a perfect example of the work that can be done when resources are put to good use. I realize the newspaper didn’t do anything abnormal in its efforts; it was created to publish our local stories. The heroism lies in the fact that this story lay dormant for months, yet the paper found it important to cover, and because the story ran, a young woman has been found.
I extend a heartfelt thanks to Run 2 Rescue for saving Kristi Merrill, and my family will be praying for her family and her recovery. I offer one last note of thanks to the Democrat for their part in this story and helping to restore my faith in the media.