Today was a really emotional and heart-wrenching day. Today I had the opportunity to lay a wreath in the Everglades at Mile Marker 31 to remember the more than 100 victims of abuse and murder whose bodies have been left in the Everglades and those who have never been identified. One of these such victims was Marissa, daughter of Mr.Gary Karp. Marissa was victimized, murdered and left in the Everglades 10 years ago this Summer. There have been no leads for Marissa’s case.
Sadly, Marissa isn’t the only one who has been left in the Everglades. According to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, in the most extreme cases, when the abuse goes too far and the victim cannot survive, the abuser will sometimes take steps to dispose of the evidence. Because of its remote location and teeming reptile population, Alligator Alley has been a common dumping ground for decades.
So, as you can understand, today was a day of remembrance, celebration of life and a chance to shed light on this tragic cycle. As I stood next to Mr. Karp I could not help but cry, thinking about his daughter and the others who have not been found and the families that may never be able to find justice.
As I walk the rest of the way to Tallahassee the experience today will stick in my head. I walk for survivors, those who have the chance to heal and speak up and those who do not have the chance. We walk for you.