July 7 at 6:00am
The small town of Colonial Beach is mourning the loss of Kallie Jefferson. Although police never actually name Kallie as the person located in a watery fatal accident in Richmond County, members of the community are able to piece together the two incidents.
On July 2nd Kallies mother made a desperate plea to social media for help in locating her daughter who was uncharacteristically not responding to calls and text messages.
Kallie’s mother posted, “My daughter has been missing since 10 or 11am this morning. This is not like her at all. Her phone is turned off and has been all day. Please share! She is driving a 2013 white Ford Fiesta. Last seen in Colonial Beach,Va. 7/2/18”
Immediately people began sharing the post and offering words of encouragement and sympathy.
Kristin Morris posted, “Mrs. Jefferson I am so sorry about Kallie! I use to go to school with her at Richmond county, you guys also use to be my neighbors when I lived in Robley when I was younger. I pray that you find your daughter as soon as possible! She is a beautiful girl, god bless you and your family in this time of need.”
Hailey Becraft wrote, “I know her from school. She is an amazing girl. I’ve posted this on all of my social media accounts. I’m praying you find her.”
Louisa Bo Magee posted, “I just shared this. I taught her in 7th grade when she came to Essex. Awww this makes me so sad. Prayers for her and you.”
By July 4th the post had been shared from Colonial Beach News’ site alone, over 5,000 times.
Kallie Jefferson was in the prime of her life, just a few years out of graduating High School and had a promising future ahead. Residents, friends and acquaintances were stunned, worried and eager to form search parties to began looking for her.
By noon on July 4th the sad news was posted by her mother that she had been found deceased and asked that the public respect her families right to privacy.
While the family took time to grieve and process their emotions, the posts of her missing poster and news of her death left many in shock and sadness wondering what had happened to this beautiful young girl.
Posts of condolences came streaming in on all pages that had shared the post.
High School Teacher Veronica Reynolds wrote, “Parents shouldn’t outlive their children; teachers shouldn’t outlive their students. Rest in Peace, Kallie.”
Marcy Feltner agreed responding, “So very true Veronica! Such heartbreaking news!!”
Friends began consoling friends who knew her. The public grieved as well.
Christina Trombetta Briola wrote, “Worst thing I’ve ever had to do as a teacher is attend a student’s funeral. My sympathies to all who knew her.”
Sabrina Crider Showalter wrote, “I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your precious daughter. Take comfort in knowing she is in the Loving Arms of Jesus. Sending lots of prayers your way as you go through this difficult time.”
On July 6th the Colonial Beach Police Department issued the following statement;
Missing Person Press Release
July 6th 2018
The Colonial Beach Police Department took a report for a missing person on July 2nd 2018.
Officers immediately took the necessary steps to begin efforts to locate the missing subject.
After a continuous investigation, the Colonial Beach Police Department was notified by Richmond County Sheriff’s Office that a vehicle matching the description of the missing person was located.
This call came in to the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office in the early morning hours of July 4th 2018.
The vehicle was located and recovered from a body of water in Richmond County. Shortly after the vehicle was removed it was confirmed as the missing persons registered vehicle.
Authorities then identified the occupant inside as the resident reported missing from Colonial Beach, Virginia.
The motor vehicle crash and the missing person report are both being actively investigated.
The Colonial Beach Police Department would like to respect the family in this time of mourning. We would also like to formally thank all the surrounding agencies that have assisted through this investigation.
If anyone has any information about the investigation please contact the Colonial Beach Police Department at (804)-224-7612 (Mon.-Fri .9am-5pm) or (804)-493-8066 (24 hours).
The news of Kallie’s death has touched many lives, the lives of family, those who knew her personally and those who got to know her while learning of her disappearance. People who had never met her became concerned with her disappearance and saddened by the news of her death.
We wondered how does one deal with the loss of someone they only knew online. Can people become really attached and do they suffer a loss? How great is the loss?
We searched the internet for answers online. Many articles came up under a search for how to cope with a loss on social media. There are articles on etiquette, how to post an announcement, how and when to respond to an announcement etc.
But not one article we found seemed appropriate to share. Not one article stuck to the delicate nature of such a tragedy and how to cope. We wanted to offer some words of comfort, but in a world where writing is our job, there seems to be no words that offer comfort when such a beautiful, young person in the prime of life has been taken from her loved ones, friends and family.
People are inquisitive by nature, somehow, knowing how and why a tragedy happened, might protect us from it happening again, or happening to us. We may never know all the answers, but one thing we do know is that memories are the key to helping us process painful emotions. And it is clear that this young woman touched and brightened so many lives.
We offer our sincerest condolences to family and friends.