I have never been good at asking for help but in this trying time, I am humbling asking for financial assistance for my family. We have been through so much and still have a very long trial to face. Having some financial relief would be one less thing to worry about for my family. Anything you can help with is gratefully appreciated, even if you can’t help financially please share our page. Below is a little bit of our story.
April was a beautiful person inside and out, she was so full of love and laughter. She was a mother of two wonderful children. She was taken before she could see her young daughter graduate from high school and go to college. She will never see her children get married and she will never meet her future grandchildren. She is loved and missed more than words can describe.
I will never forget the phone call from my mother telling me my sister was missing and asking if I knew where she was. Then I waited for what seemed like an eternity for my parents to make the 75 mile trip to where she was living. When they arrived the roads to the house were blocked off with crime scene tape and law enforcement vehicles and there were police everywhere. They told me it doesn't look good and they would call me back. They called to tell me they were asked to go down to the police department and would call me back again. I waited, in the middle of the night, helplessly pacing around my house over 1,000 miles away for several hours hoping they would call and tell me she was ok. Then at about 4:30 am my father had to make the hardest phone call he will ever make, he had to call me knowing the devastating news he was about to deliver would break my heart. He had to call me, his youngest daughter and give me the worst news of my life over the phone, that my big sister was gone. My dad choked back tears for a minute and hesitated; in the background I could hear my mother on the phone with April’s ex-husband and father of her children. Then with his voice full of pain he told me the police said “there was overwhelming evidence that April was killed in that house but they don’t know where she is”. Instantly I think they made a mistake, she is ok, God please, please, please let her be ok. Then the words “there is no hope that she is alive” rang through my head as I screamed out and began to collapse, if my husband didn't catch me I would have been on the floor. In that horrible moment my entire life changed. I could not get to New Jersey fast enough.
Surrounded by family, grieving the biggest loss of our lives, we waited for the phone to ring and watched the many news stories about April and the search for her body. Sunday night after everyone left my parents’ house, a news story came on the tv. Police had found parts of a woman’s body in Newark and they were speculating that it might be April. Any hopes I had (as farfetched as they were) that somehow she was still alive were gone when it was confirmed the next day that it was indeed her. It took five days and hundreds of law enforcement officials searching several counties in New Jersey to find some of the mangled pieces of her body in the trash bags that her murderer had discarded her in. They continued to search for more but they were never able to find the remaining pieces of April’s body. We had to wait weeks for them to release what they did find, so we could have her funeral.
My parents have endured monthly court hearings (sometimes twice a month) over the last three and a half years, essentially forced to see the evil monster that murdered their daughter face to face. Finally, nearly four years after her murder, on August 28, 2017, the trial proceedings are going to begin. We have been told the trial will take 4-6 weeks. That is 4-6 weeks of my parents, brother and I not being able to work so we can attend the trial and see justice prevail for my sister. We will need plane tickets and will be traveling 150 miles each day to and from the courthouse. That will be 3-5 hours a day driving depending on traffic on top of an emotionally draining full day of court. We will incur extra expenses in addition to our regular bills while taking an extended period of time off from work (most of it unpaid for the four of us). Your donations will help ease the financial burden this will cause my family.
My family and I want to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone that has been here and continues to be here to support us through this horrific tragedy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story.
April’s Mom, Dad, Sister and Brother
- Carole McKenzie
- Ross Yenisey
- Caroline Sawyer
- Jan Schumacher
- Dawn Thigpen
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