"LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - A grave site birthday celebration was held for Misty Horner Wednesday night.
Horner is the wife of a Lee's Summit Police officer currently on leave while prosecutors investigate Misty's death. In January, she died after a botched home birth. She and her husband refused medical assistance. But Misty's parents, Gail and Darrell Mansfield, want justice.
Wednesday night, dozens joined the Mansfield's at Floral Hills Cemetery in Lee's Summit. Standing in cold winds, they gathered around Misty's grave. It was a somber celebration.
"Tonight is her birthday," said Darrell Mansfield, Misty's father.
"She's been gone 10 months now," said Gail Mansfield, Misty's mother. "It's hard to even get up the next day to even try to... we don't even know what we're supposed to do anymore. That was our baby girl."
Misty would be 31-years-old. But, 10 months ago, she died from an infection caused by complications from a stillbirth. After her unborn daughter Sydney died, Misty and her husband, Caleb refused to get medical treatment for religious reasons.
Her family believes she was brainwashed. Police have not charged Caleb with any crime, but Misty's family blames him for her death.
"Misty was not in a cult," said Gail Mansfield. "That was not Misty."
"It's been very hard. It's been hard for everybody," said Selma Mansfield, Misty's Aunt.
To ease their burden and get through their first Thanksgiving holiday without Misty, the Mansfield family and friends surrounded her grave, celebrating the precious memories she left them.
"She's very important to us and we'll celebrate it every year," said Misty's sister Kim Park. "She's in our thoughts continuously. We love her. We miss her."
Caleb Horner remains on leave with the Lee's Summit Police Department until Jackson County Prosecutors finish investigating the circumstances of his wife's death. A spokesman for the prosecutor says nothing is imminent."
"LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -- Parents said their daughter died after being seduced by a cult.
On Wednesday, the family of Misty Horner remembered her on her 31st birthday. KMBC's Dan Weinbaum reported that loved ones gathered at Horner's graveside memorial to sing "Happy Birthday" to her.
Horner was married to a Lee's Summit police officer. She declined medical attention during a childbirth in her home. The child was stillborn and Horner later died.
Doctors said Horner had an infection that could have been treated, but it wasn't because of her husband's religious beliefs.
Horner's parents blame their son-in-law, Caleb Horner.
"This here is unacceptable. It's hard, unbearable, day in, day out," said Darrell Mansfield, Misty's father.
"You have a hole in your heart and you don't know what to do," said Gail Mansfield, Misty's mother. "It's hard to get up some days. I don't know what to do without her."
The case is in the hands of the Jackson County prosecutor. A representative said the case is still under review.
July 9, 2007: Misty Horner's Mom: 'I'm Going To Have Justice'
March 12, 2007: Family Upset Over Horner's Death Certificate
February 22, 2007: Police Probe In Horner Deaths Continues
February 9, 2007: Mayor: Investigation Under Way In Horner Deaths
February 9, 2007: Friend: Religion Led To Woman's Death, Stillbirth
February 6, 2007: Raytown Church Wants Woman's Death Investigated
February 1, 2007: Deaths Of Woman, Baby Raise More Questions
Copyright 2007 by KMBC.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed."
I have much more information about this case from friends, family and other sources that I will be posting in the coming weeks and months.
In the meantime, my heart goes out to Gail, Darrel, Misty, Sydney and all of her friends and family who await justice a year later.