Content Notes: emotional abuse, death
My friend Sandy Kinnamon was found dead in her car on Thursday, July 28th. She, reportedly, disappeared on Sunday, July 24th.
I don’t believe in misrepresenting how a person lived her life to deify her in death. Like every human, Sandy was flawed, struggled, and made mistakes. More importantly, she was so very good. Sandy and I became close friends several years ago through our social justice activism. She was a loving mother and fiercely devoted to her children. Sandy was a friend to many. She could always be counted on to defend the underdog. She was always on the side of right and fair. As a friend, she was loyal, unfailingly kind, generous to a fault, and forgiving. Sandy was feisty and funny. No one could make me roar with laughter more than Sandy.
To say that I am profoundly sad, angry, and confused over her death is an understatement. But I’ve chosen to process my grief privately. The loss that I feel is not small but pales in comparison to that of her children, her family, and society in general. Not without reservation, I’ve made the decision to use my public space to share my concerns about the circumstances surrounding her death. I’m going to do my best to respect Sandy’s confidence and respect the privacy of her children and family at the same time as I ask that her death be given more than a perfunctory investigation.
I hadn’t spoken to Sandy, privately, in months until the Wednesday and Thursday prior to her disappearance. Not because we’d had a falling out. I’d been ill and mostly off the grid. She reached out to me via Facebook Instant Messenger. At this point, I’m not going to share the exact content of our communications publicly; although, I have shared with the Allen, TX police. In short, Sandy was at loose ends and wanted to talk via telephone about the difficulties she was having in her marriage. Not for the first time, Sandy mentioned being the victim of emotional abuse. It is worth noting that I am not the only friend with whom Sandy shared these experiences. On Thursday, we decided that she would call me Sunday.
I didn’t hear from Sandy Sunday. This wasn’t particularly unusual–both Sandy and I had a history of missing chat dates. I didn’t think anything of it. Not until I received the following text from her husband on Wednesday morning.
Obviously, my concern for her well-being was immediate. With the context of Sandy’s body being discovered in her car, this text is alarming. I’d never spoken to her husband prior to receiving this text. Because of the nature of what Sandy had shared with me about their relationship over the years, I didn’t feel comfortable being completely forthcoming with him. I logged onto facebook instant messenger to find a message from a member of her immediate family asking if I knew anything about Sandy’s whereabouts. I shared, with that person, my most recent communication with Sandy. Her family member did not seem to share my concerns about Sandy’s husband but did provide me with the email address of the investigator handling Sandy’s case. I promptly sent my most recent correspondence with Sandy to the investigator and have yet to receive so much as an acknowledgement of its receipt. Similarly, others have reportedly shared concerns supported by verifiable and written documentation with the Allen Police without response.
Several of Sandy’s close friends launched a Facebook page to get the word out about Sandy’s disappearance. Jason left several public comments on the page which were disturbing in that they disparaged Sandy, seemed to be of a hostile nature rather than one of concern, and were later discovered to be inconsistent with the facts surrounding her case. Jason later deleted his comments; although, those running the page were able to capture screenshots which have been provided to the Allen Police. At this point, I don’t feel comfortable publicly sharing those screenshots. However, I will share a couple of apparent inconsistencies.
- Jason made the following comments on the “Save our Sandy” Facebook page immediately prior to a journalist sharing a press release confirming Sandy’s status as a missing person and requesting that anyone with information about Sandy communicate it to the police.
- Jason claimed to have made a Facebook post about Sandy being missing. However, it was not visible on his page, nor was such status visible on Sandy’s page. Jason did state on the “Save our Sandy” page that the police had discouraged the family from making facebook posts but that they, eventually, decided to do so.
Sandy’s body was found on Thursday afternoon, in her vehicle, behind Allen Community theater by Jason and Sandy’s sister who flew in from out of town. It was reported in a news article that this location is about 100 yards from her home. 100 yards. That begs the question: How is it possible for a person to be found 100 yards from home after being missing for 5 days? 100 yards can be easily be covered by one person, on foot, within an hour or two at most. Jason said he’d been looking for days.
I’m struggling to imagine a scenario where the police took Sandy’s disappearance seriously, made any effort to search for her, AND failed to find her 100 yards from home.
I am, certainly, not privy to the details of the investigation of Sandy’s death. But I do know that I have not been contacted regarding the information that I shared. My friends, who also contacted the police have allegedly not been contacted. The media reports that there were no signs of “physical trauma” and that “foul play is not suspected.” If Sandy’s death could be immediately attributed to natural causes, I have to believe that this would have been reported to the public to prevent unfounded speculation.
Why was there no media coverage about her disappearance until Thursday, shortly before her body was found? Why were there no apparent organized efforts to locate Sandy? Why does it seem like the police aren’t actively investigating Sandy’s death?
Sandy’s life mattered. There is enough information readily available to the police to treat it as suspicious (assuming it cannot be attributed to natural causes) and conduct an investigation accordingly.
Sandy’s life mattered. The police have an obligation to investigate her death.
Sandy’s life mattered. The public has a moral obligation to hold the police accountable.
Sandy’s life mattered. Why wasn’t her disappearance treated like it does? Why does it appear that her death is not being treated like it did?
Editing to add a comment that Sandy’s sister just posted: “Hello everyone. This has been an extremely difficult time for all of us and we appreciate your support. I am one of Sandy’s sisters and I’m writing to let you all know that we, Sandy’s family, have been in close contact with the Allen Police Department since the beginning. The investigation is ongoing and all the tips and information you have given to the Allen Police Department is being examined and investigated. If you all have further information to share please email Brandon White at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to be anonymous please text keyword: ALLENPD and your tip to 847411. We assure you APD is doing a thorough investigation and this takes time. Again, thank you all for your support.”