Community marches in hopes of finding a killer and to remember a life lost
Hundreds of people from Lake Stevens gathered at the Centennial Trail trailhead on 20th St. NE Monday, June 17 to remember 15-year-old Molly Conley, the young girl who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Lake Stevens on June 1.
Many wondered why the Lake Stevens community would go to such lengths to honor someone who didn’t even live here, why our residents would donate money to find her killer —the answer was obvious when Monika Kristofferson, the march’s organizer, welcomed the crowd.
“We want to honor Molly and to bring the community together and support one another,” Kristofferson said. “We also want to make sure people are aware of the rewards that are out there.”
Lake Stevens Mayor Vern Little also wants the world to know that Lake Stevens is still a small community that does the right thing.
“This community always comes together to do the right thing and we want to find out who did this to Molly,” he said. “This march brings the community together and shows the Conley family that we care and that we want to resolve this issue—she is not forgotten.”
People of all ages walked the two miles together but it seemed to touch mothers in the crowd in a special way. Amber Heikkinen was one of those mothers who became emotional when reaching the mile marker that was decorated with flowers and simple thoughts of Molly.
“I think it’s important to get to know our neighbors. Lake Stevens is still a small community, small enough that we should be able to communicate with our neighbors,” Heikkinen said. “I don’t want us to tolerate this in our community.”
Four young girls, ages four through six, wanted to do something special so they took out their sidewalk chalk and wrote loving messages on the trail.
“Because Molly died, we wanted to remember her,” six-year-old Mikayla said.
“Molly can already see what we did,” six-year-old Avery added.
Lake Stevens High School student Allias Horn played the guitar and sang “Time of Your Life” as the crowd prepared for their March for Molly. Then the two mile walk began.
There are two different reward funds set-up for those who would like to donate.
The first is the Lake Stevens American Legion Post 181 and Crime Stoppers Fund. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank under Molly Conley’s name. They have raised $9,000 to date. You can donate online at www.post181.org.
The second is the Lake Stevens Community Outreach fund which was set-up by Joe Neverkewitz, owner of Spirit World here in Lake Stevens. His goal is to reach $25,000 and donations can be made at any Chase Bank under Lake Stevens Community Outreach.