Diary of a Mother's Mission

My son, Kevin Martin, disappered under mysterious circumstances in the wee hours of July 18, 2004. His partial remains were found on February 1, 2005 in the river. The Des Moines Police have not been helpful and this is my blog to tell what I have done as it's done.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The River

The river, of course, is the Des Moines River. I've written about it before, or mentioned it at least, many times. The river has nothing to do with Kevin's life and I was told that he would not want to be remembered for that. The reality is that his remains were found in the river. Sad to say, his life has become inextricably linked to the river. That's not how I remember him but that's where they found him. They; he, Kurt, a fisherman. A psychic said to throw flowers in the river, which we did after Kevin's memorial service, the next day, and not to look back.

When I moved out here, again, over a year later, I went to the river. I just felt that I had to go and hoped that Kevin would understand, which I'm sure he does. His remains were found at the confluence of the Raccoon and the Des Moines Rivers, just a smidge below a dam where the two rivers come together. Perhaps I've said this before too, but actually Kevin's remains were found on the left side of the river as one is standing on an old abandoned railroad bridge, facing downtown Des Moines, and almost directly underneath the bridge by one of the pillons. What occurred to me was the fact that they don't even know for sure whether Kevin went into the Des Moines River or the Raccoon River.The Raccoon River was never even mentioned but it was assumed he went into the Des Moines. He very well could have entered the Raccoon River which comes in from the left side as his remains were found on the left side not far from the shore. Something else which sticks in my mind...

It was a year ago when I wrote my second or third blog. "A Little Ray of Hope". That faded very quickly as did my hope to search the exposed sand bars for Kevin's skull. The Polk Co. Sherrif's Dept. had given my name to a diver and a dog handler as I mentioned a year ago. Months prior I had called the Des Moines police for a couple of names but they never got back to me. George, the diver called me as well as the lady who has a cadaver dog; I can't remember her name. A few minutes into my conversation with George, he said, "I hear you have a problem with the police". Before they called me they had already talked to Det. Mitchell at the police dept., the detective who was in charge of Kevin's case that day since Det. Shannon was on vacation the day they found his remains. George set up a time and date and we all met at the river, at the old railroad tressle, and talked about doing one last search of the area since it seemed to me the conditions would be excellent and quite different from the normal higher water levels. They agreed to do the search. They would keep me informed. I wasn't to give out any press releases.

That was a Wednesday. Saturday, George called and said that they had been at the river Friday, the river was rising. They were going to wait for the optimum time. A week or so after that the river was flooded and I never heard from George again. George said that they would be willing to do this search and then I was to put some closure to this. Excuse me? As we were talking he also said that I wouldn't find anything, and that, even if I did, there was no foul play - but he still agreed to do the search??? Well, in word only. I'm sure he knew the conditions were going to change at any time once they opened the dam at Saylorville Lake. He's a local diver. Very revealing, this self appointed spokesmouth for the police dept.

But the River... rivers , the ocean, waterfalls, even the Long Island Sound which I'm so familiar with, are peaceful and water is comforting. Many peoples build homes right on the water. This is prime real estate. I wonder who has never sat at the beach or a waterfront, and listened to the sounds of the river or ocean. Rainfall is soothing. They even make the little serenity pools, or whatever they're called. Kevin gave me one at Christmas. Aquariums are suppose to sooth the nerves as well. So, yes, I have gone down to the River and it is comforting. Brian and I have gone too. It is more than that, I guess. People have a need to go somewhere and pay their respects and remember in solitude as most go to a cemetary or a special place. So the river wasn't part of Kevin's life, or maybe it was, but it became so, and I still find myself drawn there as I am to other places which give me a sense of comfort and connectedness to Kevin...

The River also robbed us of our truth and closure. If Kevin had not gone into the river, he probably would have been found alot sooner. They would have been able to determine cause of death, perhaps. So the River is destructive and unforgiving, too, as well as other bodies of water. We need water to live but it takes lives as well.

The River is high now. I don't think they have opened the Saylorville Dam yet, though. We have had alot of rain and drought conditions, in this area, anyway, are gone. That's good, but it means that there won't be a search this year either. As I said, though, even if the skull was found, and there was indications of head trauma, the police would have said that it was done by debris in the water. They have already said that...


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