November 10, 2010
On March 31, 2001, my beautiful baby girl Riley Ann came into this world. Just like her big brother Tyler she was such a happy baby. Riley, in her three short years here, was an absolute blessing and joy. No matter where we were or what we were doing she seemed to grab the attention of everyone around. Her smile was amazing and her personality even more so. She was such a funny little girl who loved being the center of attention. Riley was very talkative, always telling stories and jokes. She loved to sing and dance. She really enjoyed dressing up, playing with my make-up, and catching butterflies, lots of things that little girls like. She had a little bit of a tomboy side to her though, wrestling around, playing sports, and fishing with her big brother. Riley and Tyler were the best of friends. Tyler loved her so much, even when she was bossing him around and blaming things on him. When Tyler would get ready for school in the morning she would pretend like she was going too. She would wear her little backpack and watch him out the window while he got on the bus.
Riley never got her chance to go to school because on June 6, 2004, you killed her. She would never have the opportunity to play with her friends, have sleepovers, get her driver's license, go to homecoming or prom, go to college, get married or have a family of her own. It was my absolute worst nightmare come true, to have my baby just stolen from me and murdered in the most devastating way I could imagine. Not only did you murder Riley, you murdered Tyler's childhood innocence. He would never be able to see his sister again. Right after you killed Riley my only reason for living was Tyler. As a mother I was so heartbroken by the loss of Riley, and the sadness and fear that Tyler must have felt. I was in disbelief, so sad, so angry, I felt very empty yet full of fear. How could this have happened, who would do such a thing? The pain I felt was unbearable. I hurt so badly everyday for Riley wondering what she went through.
It is now six years later and you sit here before me ready to accept your punishment, but really how does it even compare to what you did to Riley? I only wish I could cause you the pain you put Riley through. You stole her from our home, put her in the trunk of your car, sexually assaulted her and then drowned her. She was only 3 years old, an innocent child. Due to your heinous actions I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye or give her a last kiss or hug. Instead I visit a headstone that I decorate for holidays and her birthday.
I go back and forth with the idea of wanting you dead. However, I feel that if I have to live the rest of my life with the pain you have inflicted, you should have to live the rest of your life labeled as a child killer. I’m opposed to you getting the death penalty and dying a quick, painless death.
You have finally, after your mom and ex-girlfriend turned you in for reward money, admitted what you've done. I'm glad that this day has come because I didn't want to live the rest of my life not knowing what happened or who was responsible. However, although those questions have been answered, it hasn't changed how devastating this has all been. It doesn't make anything better; she is still gone. No reason, no excuse could ever make me understand how you were just able to treat my daughter as if she were disposable. I find some comfort in the fact you can not hurt anyone else. The damage you have caused me is irreversible. When this first happened I was tortured with wondering why this happened, what exactly happened, and who did it? Now I'm tortured with the details that you have provided. To know that for you this was just a night you decided to get drunk and high, and my daughter's life ended because you were looking for a twisted thrill sickens me. You can never possibly understand what you have taken from me. I gave her life and you ripped it away.
I couldn't even hear a little girl cry for years. It would make me think of how scared she had to have been, and if she was crying for me, how I couldn't even be there for her. I have moments when I break down thinking of what you put her through. There are times when I open my trunk and get sick to my stomach thinking about you duct taping her and throwing her in your trunk like garbage. Little girls with brown hair make me wonder what she would be like. While these are no longer constant thoughts and feelings, their depth is not diminished.
In an instant my life was further changed and it was devastating. You brutally murdering my Riley Bugs has tainted everything; every moment is bittersweet. Holidays, occasions celebrated with my family and friends, she is missing. Anything Tyler and Teagan do and will achieve will always remind me of how much life she missed out on.
I know that I can be so proud of my daughter and who she would've been. You, on the other hand, are an absolute disappointment and disgrace to your mother, family, and society. I am sure she regrets the day you were born. It disgusts me that Riley is gone and you are here. I will not let this tragedy continue to destroy or further erode my life. Although you took her from me you can not take the time I shared with her, I will always treasure those memories and feel so lucky to have had the privilege and honor, though cut short by you, to have been Riley's mom.
I came to face you at your court appearances so you would know how important standing up for Riley was to me. She was defenseless that night and that makes you a coward and a monster. The people in this court room are here because of their love for the beautiful person Riley was, but the evil in you has pushed everyone away in your life. You are here ALONE and will be ALONE for the rest of your life. I want you to know after we all walk out of here today you will cease to exist, totally forgotten. Riley is the one we will all remember, our little princess.
Charles B. Pelkie
(815) 530-7110 (cellular)
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