Below is a letter written by Karren Kraemer, Becky's Mother.
August 23, 2006
Today, I took a minute to think about how my life has
changed. Some people never ask themselves this question but
today I felt it was important that I share this thought with
the people I care most about. I am the mother of as missing
person. You know I never in my life thought I would lose a
child, someone that I gave birth to, someone that I loved.
A daughter that any parent would be proud to have.
When my mother died I thought that I had felt the worst
pain of all. I never thought I would or could feel such an
overwhelming pain and loss, one that hurt so deep. I remember
back to that evening when I walked into the emergency room
so unprepared for my mothers death. I looked at my mother
and thought oh God please let her life with you be better
then the life she had on earth. I prayed that God took all
her pain away and let her walk through the gates of heaven
pain free and happy. Something she wasn't able to feel for
so many years. I had to believe that God was that powerful,
to help her escape the painful life she had and that he somehow
knew that, that night was the night to bring her home. You
know I felt guilt and pain when she died. Did I do everything
I could to help her? Why did I ignore the truth for all those
years? It took me a long time to overcome that pain and loss,
I still struggle to force myself to go to the cemetery to
visit her grave. I go there and even though its been so long
ago I am reminded of her sad painful life. It still causes
the pain to return, the sadness, the sorrow for her life of
pain in the end.
I did everything I could to protect my children from
the pain I saw in my family. Yet, it wasn't enough! I
thought if I raised the kids in a better neighborhood
with great schools and was always there for them, they
would never have to endure what their parents endured.
They had a great father who showed his love to them everyday.
My husband cared about their happiness, he would give
his life for each and every one of them. He showed such
pride in each and every one of their accomplishments.
I never knew what that felt like as a child. I as a child
never experienced that type of love and compassion. I
thought I could stop the cycle.
Then it happened!!!
I saw my daughter Becky going down a road that I knew
could eventually kill her if she didn't get out. I kept begging
her to leave her boyfriend. I couldn't understand the pain
she let him inflict on her. She was so smart and beautiful.
She could have had anyone she wanted. Why did she stay with
him? Why didn't she listen to us? Why did she distance herself
from the people who really loved her?
Then Becky went missing!!!
I lost Becky. My Becky, God I loved her so much.
I will never be able to tell you guys how much I miss her
. I hope none of you will ever have to walk in my footprints.
My sisters and brothers in search, you
understand so well my pain. We share it and understand
each other like no one else could ever understand us. When
we have our breakdowns and periods of crying you understand,
and wait for the moment to pass. I have had my share of
sad days and nights. You know when you get up in the morning
and you see something that reminds you of that very special
person that you've lost. It could be a commercial, a picture,
or a song. Reminders are there all the time. Sometimes
they are more prevalent than other times. I think to myself,
how will Life ever be normal again? Then, I realize this
is my life, changed forever. .
I have spent two and a half years in pain and helplessness
because of my loss. I have been forced to ask myself questions
like. Where is my daughter? Is she dead or alive? If she is
indeed dead, why was she murdered? What gave him the right
to take her life? These are the moments of wonderment I now
have. How could this happen to my Becky? How could the police
treat this as just another ordinary crime? How I can I overcome
this with some dignity intact? What can I do to make a difference?
Then today as I cleaned the house I took the time to think,
Multitasking That I'm good at, I thought you know maybe everything
does happen for a reason, maybe Gods plan is greater then
mine. I don't know, but I do know that I cant let Becky's
life be for not. It is up to me as her mother to make the
difference, and find her. I have to get the strength and courage
to go full circle with this. My goal is to make people hear
my story, and the stories of all the women and men who have
gone missing. This is a very hard road to cross, as most government
officials don't want to get involved. Most politicians want
pretty topics during election year. Domestic Violence, Murder,
and our missing children, seem to be way to messy for them.
I can tell you all that I am going to stay committed to getting
this Coalition going and it needs to be done with urgency.
Everyday another woman is battered by her spouse or boyfriend.
If she's lucky she will get away, if not she will end up like
our daughters murdered and dumped somewhere. These beautiful
souls lost forever. It is up to us the parents, the brothers
and sisters and the public to help put an end to this type
of violence. I have to fight this battle because I need and
My life has changed, I know that there has to be something
I can do to make a difference. I need to have a mission to
help bring justice to all the families that have suffered
through the same pain that I have. . I look at all my Sisters
in Search and I think there are no boundaries here. This is
not a crime for a special group of people. This is a crime
that crosses every boundary line race, religion, and economic
class. I need to find the people who will listen and I need
to make them hear our lost ones voices. I need to find the
answers and start educating our children, daughters and sons
our legal system, and the police. I need to stay focused on
what my objectives are. It is to put an end to the loss that
will most certainly affect another innocent family today,
tomorrow and in the future.
As a parent I feel so much pain on a daily basis. I've
had cops say, You need to talk to someone, I've had cops say,
Don't talk to anyone you might foil the case. As a parent
what do I do? Do I call the Crisis Intervention at the DAs
office and talk about my pain? Will he use my pain to work
against me later on? Do I seek help out of the control of
the DA and Police? Will that help? Do I find a support group
where I can talk openly and honestly? Who can I trust? Is
it wrong to want to blame the cops for my fear of screwing
up the case so I go no where with my pain except the occasional
frustrated call to the cop in charge of Becky's case. She
must think I'm a total emotional wreck. Then I remember I
am the victim, or Am I? Do I feel like I'm a victim but really
I'm not? Who is the victim? Is Becky the victim? Does her
pain and death institute the type of justice I'm seeking?
Do I as a parent of an adult victim have any real rights?
What is the answer? Do any of us really know? I ask these
questions daily of myself? I'm only one person, yet I feel
that I must do something. I need to make a difference for
Becky and all our missing children...
I need to make things right. I need to make all the men
that have hurt our daughters, mothers and sisters think twice
before they do it again. I need every voice possible to help
me make this happen. It is only a question? Is it the right
question? I don't know any more. All I know is that my Becky
is gone! Deb Culberson's daughter Carrie is gone, Patti and
Ed Bishop's daughter Karen Jo is gone, Margie Mortior's son
Amos is missing, Dawn and Tom Vowell's mother Sandra Kay Travis
is missing, Darlene Pitt's sister Kathy Fry is gone. This
is such a small list and yet it grows daily. These are the
families that need to know the truth, these are the people
who wake up every day thinking,How has their lives changed?
Our lives will never be the same. The pain will never
Today, my life has a mission. Three years ago I had a
good nights sleep. Three years ago I had a great job, three
years ago I was planning for an Alaskan cruise. Three years
ago life was normal.
Today I look at every ditch and railroad track as a possible
place to hide my daughters remains. Today when I hear a news
story about an unidentified female body discovered somewhere
I call the local Medical Examiner to see if they know who
it is and should I send Becky's DNA or Dental Records. Today
I drive into the darkest streets in Milwaukee to hang Posters
on telephone poles. I knock on doors and ask strangers if
they knew my daughter. Today I go to my computer and start
the search all over. Is he on a different website or does
he have a new e-mail address. Today I cry. Yes my life has
changed forever as I have to continue to search for my daughter.
I need answers to my questions. I need to know what happened
to her. I need to know that the person responsible for her
disappearance and murder is held accountable. I need to have
a good nights sleep. I need your prayers. I need support.
Yes my life has changed forever!
This is how a mother feels when her life changes forever!
This letter represents the thoughts and pain of Karren
Kraemer , This is only half the story. My partner Patti Bishop
will tell her story and share her thoughts
We are the Co-Founders of the Midwest Coalition for the
We are the Sisters in Search
We are the Mothers in pain
For Karen Jo and Becky!
IN Hope, Heart & Faith,
Midwest Coalition for the Missing