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Pat Tuthill's Memoir and Prologue



Prologue


My twenty-three-year old daughter, Peyton Tuthill was a loving and giving person who volunteered for Habitat for Humanity; provided music therapy for Alzheimer’s patients; mentored children from a very poor socio-economic background for four years while in college; worked for the American Cancer Society and taught drug and alcohol awareness classes on her college campus. She was a person full of energy who believed she could achieve her dreams.

She graduated from college and decided that those dreams would take her to Denver Colorado to graduate school. She tested her wings because that is what we teach our children to do. She moved into a neighborhood in Denver that was being revitalized, and she was thrilled with her new life. A month later, in a halfway house a few doors from Peyton, another twenty-three-year old moved into the neighborhood. The young man had been released on probation from the state of Maryland. He had been sent to the halfway house in Denver, unknown to probation officials in the state of Colorado yet he was supposed to remain on supervised probation for three years. He was an angry young man, who had been sentenced to twenty years for aggravated assault and robbery.

Four months later, on February 24th, 1999, the young man was expelled from the program at the halfway house for consistently breaking the rules and threatening the program director. He was ordered to leave the halfway house and told to return the following day when he would be given a bus ticket to Baltimore, Maryland where his probation would be revoked and he would return to prison. Shortly before noon that next day, he broke into my daughter’s home. While he was in the house, Peyton came home to change clothes after a successful interview with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. When she entered her house she had no idea that she would never leave. That young man savagely destroyed my daughter’s life.

During the ensuing months, I knew I had to make a choice: live or die. Dying would be easy, but that option would allow that young man to not only to take Peyton’s life but also take my life, the life of my other daughter and the lives of the rest of my family. I concluded that was not an acceptable choice. I became determined to find out what happened to Peyton, and what I could do to prevent the devastation from happening to other families. This book reveals that painful journey and how love signals received from Peyton along the way and my faith helped me to continue my effort to change the system.







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