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20 Years Later, A Heartbroken Mother Still Remembers, and Still Fights


Twenty years ago today, on Aug. 7, 1995, I stepped out of the limousine and walked across the clean-cut grass.

People gathered, some walking hand in hand, others standing at a distance.  The cars continued to file in, one by one.  As they  parked, their occupants moved toward the gravesite.

As I glanced toward my right, I saw the beautiful royal blue coffin, carried by eight children from our neighborhood in a Chicago suburb.  My knees buckled at the site as the funeral director kept me from falling to the ground, then held my arm and guided me toward the final goodbye to my son.

Christopher Meyer

Christopher Meyer

Over these 20 years, I’ve allowed myself to wander to that dark place and imagine the horror Christopher suffered.  I force my thoughts back to his sparkling blue eyes and deep set dimples.  I think about the thousands of children that Christopher’s Clubhouse has provided with quality, comprehensive safety education.  I visualize the thousands more that can learn and become empowered.

Twenty years ago, I was shocked to find out that I was far from alone in this dreadful pain of an abducted and murdered child.  I was shaken to realize the magnitude of the problem.  It was something that I never imagined could happen to me.  And for 20 years, I remain connected to the statistics.

Over the course of the last 20 years, I have watched and realized the statistics have barely changed.  Children are still abducted, abused, murdered, sexually assaulted and go missing.  They are trafficked, neglected, preyed upon beaten and molested.  And for 20 years I have tried to get people to listen.

And finally, people are.  Society realizes something has to be done!

For 20 years I have been gathering momentum to STOP these heinous crimes against our most innocent.   I only wish 20 years ago I would have had the support, help, knowledge and guidance of a team such as Cavalry PR’s.  I wish there would have been someone beside me to help me form the words when asked questions by the reporters.  I could have used the help of someone that knew what to say and to whom to respond.  I only wish someone could have been there that understood the very details of my pain.  As a member of the Crisis Management Team at Cavalry PR, I “get it” now.  I know what that pain is and how to get through it with the least amount of chaos.

And now – looking back 20 years, I know that we CAN educate our kids.  We CAN make a difference. We CAN make the next twenty years brighter.

Help us to envision a safer future.  Help Christopher’s Clubhouse to make a change in the lives of more kids.  For $20 per month, you can become a warrior, hero and lifesaver.  By giving up just one Starbucks each week, you CAN AND WILL make a difference.

Madyson Middleton slaying a painful reminder that we need to do more to protect children



Once again my stomach knots up and the awful memories return as I read about  another senseless murder of an innocent child.

This time, it’s 8-year-old Maddy Middleton. I feel her parents’ pain and I know every moment of everything they’re feeling, because I had the same experience 20 years ago.

On Aug. 7, 1995, my 10-year-old son, Christopher, went missing from our small village of Aroma Park, Illinois.

As the authorities and volunteers searched,  my entire being was consumed by pain that I couldn’t stop no matter what I did. I kept thinking, “When am I going to wake up?”

When Christopher’s badly decomposed body was found, blessings were the last thing I could ever think of.

Once that all consuming grief began to subside, I knew that I couldn’t just sit and wallow in self pity.  I was angry that my son had been taken in such a violent manner.  Then I realized that anger is a powerful energy. And so I decided to redirect that energy into something positive.  I needed to find blessings within this catastrophe.

The blessings have come in the way of learning the statistics of missing children and what needs to be done to protect them.  I chose to create a nonprofit organization:  Christopher’s Clubhouse.  We provide safety education and prevention programs to children, families, teens and women.

Also this year, I teamed up with Cavalry PR, an agency that shares my vision. Together, when crisis strikes, we provide our clients with a broader range of services than they’re going to find anywhere else — not only helping them manage and share their story but also helping them as individuals desperate to have someone by their side who truly understands what they’re going through and who has the background and the resources to help them in myriad ways.

The majority of us go about our daily lives believing that all is well in the world.  We are saddened to occasionally hear about the missing or murdered child, never hearing about the other 800,000.  We have faith that our ‘system’ will take care of the offenders and absconders and believe that it will never touch our lives.  Most of us feel very blessed, we have a roof over our head and food on the table.

I am blessed that I have the strength to move forward and work to better our communities for our children.  I am blessed that, after catastrophe touched my life, I was able to redirect that anger into relentless advocacy for children and for victims.

But on days like this, when I’m thinking about how Madyson Middleton’s body was discovered in a Dumpster in her own neighborhood in Santa Cruz, not far from where she was last seen riding her scooter, it’s tough not to be angry. These tragedies have to stop.

As a society we have to work together to turn our anger into positive energy to protect our children from predators and teach them how to protect themselves.