Letters to the Editor

‘I still seek justice for my murdered daughter’

Re the Sept. 6 article The Photog, Pimp and the girl next door: The “girl next door” is my daughter.

As her mother, I have a vested interest in her story. Who else would be so keenly aware and focused on how her child’s life was ripped from her heart? In the five years since my daughter’s death, I have been deeply disappointed in a police department, which hasn’t initiated any serious effort to bring justice to my daughter and our family.

The story says: “He [Chief Dan Oates of the Miami Beach Police Department] said he had asked for the case to be reopened last November after Joe Matthews brought it to his attention.”

The truth is that Matthews presented his investigative analysis to Oates on Oct. 13, 2014. Oates didn’t reopen the case at that time. It was only when the Herald’s request for public records was denied and attorneys filed a lawsuit against the MBPD that the case was reopened on Jan. 28, 2015.

Since Jan. 28, there have been seven long months of another standstill on my daughter’s case. There have only been returned phone calls and emails filled with empty words from the MBPD while the suspects continue to live their lives, accountable to no one.

In a letter, Oates wrote: “I have personally spent significant time on Julia’s case, including meeting with Mr. Matthews last fall and considering all the information he had provided.” And, “[Maj. Richard Clements] and I tasked the Major Crime Unit to redouble their investigative effort on Julia’s case.” I ask now, as I asked then, where are the results of these redoubled efforts?

Oct. 13 will mark another year during which I have been victimized — first, by drugsters and then by the MBPD. America needs our law enforcement community more than ever. We face not only a society whose morality has deteriorated, but also a legal system that tends to advocate for the criminal, leaving victims to fight for their own rights.

It’s only because of my tireless commitment to uphold what is foundational in the American system, in addition to the enduring love for my children, that I pursue justice for my daughter.

Last, I thank the Miami Beach city manager for taking the initiative to forward the investigation to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Marie Sumnicht,

Green Bay, Wisconsin

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