At first glance,
it looks like a happy collection
of Madame Alexander dolls.
I started collecting these dolls,
shortly after she was born.
I am not even sure,
at last count,
how many I had purchased over the years.
This box is one of the many
that has been packed up
since she left us---
At closer range,
it becomes obvious
that one of the dolls is broken.
The head is detached from the body.
All of the parts are there
but they are not connected.
The doll is broken.
This seems to be the way it was
for much of my daughter's life.
She was broken.
As hard as each of us tried to mend her brokenness, just like Humpty Dumpty,
all the King's horses and all the King's men
couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again
we could not find a way to put
or give Amber the resources
to put herself together ---
As I write this,
there are tears welling up in my eyes --
As my husband uttered to me last night,
as he held me tightly in bed,
after sobs subsided from him,
"We did our best"
How does a mother write about her daughter's death?
I decided if I let too much time go by
I would not know what to say --
Our family is not a family one would expect
to see on the news,
in such a detrimental setting--
Our family is not a family
one would expect to see
or hear the phrase-
Release of names are being withheld
until notification of next of kin.
How many times we have heard this said
or how many times we have read those words---
Only This Time
those words pertained to us
not someone else-
Yesterday, I got a call from a Pinetop detective,
with which we had worked over the past year and a half.
In an unofficial capacity,
he was contacting us,
as a friend,
with information he had just heard ----
About an hour and a half later
we were officially contacted
by a Nevada Coroner's office---
Amber was dead---
I was very aware that I might receive such a call
due to Amber's drug use-
What I expected though,
if I did get such a call,
was an overdose,
or at worse,
her death being from a drug dealer
or someone else she had conned.
I was not prepared
for the call
telling us she had been
killed by police officers.
This took place on Monday evening.
If you google her name
Kelly Amber DuPriest
you will find several news articles
about the event
and her death.
From talking to the Coroner's office
and then a detective
from the Henderson Nevada
we know there will be an inquiry
regarding her death.
We were also told the gun involved
might have been a pellet gun.
If you search her name, as I mentioned above,
you will also find two of my earlier posts,
one written on Sunday, November 8,2009 titled,
Who, What, When, Where, Why
and one written on Monday, February 23rd, 2009, titled Happy 38th Birthday, Amber.
I had a comment,this morning,
on one of the posts,
from the brother of one of the people
from which Amber and the other person,
stole a car.
It was a kind comment,
letting me know Amber,
and the person with her,
appeared to be high on drugs.
He let me know Amber was not the one carrying the gun.
He let me know he had sympathy for my family.
His sympathy touched me.
My family and friends are in shock.
Just as I had to tell Amber 34 years ago, that her birth father had died
( suicide )
I had to tell her own son,Chandler,
his mother was dead.
Tonight, my dear husband,
has the task of telling my elderly father,
his troubled granddaughter is dead.
We did not want to tell him over the phone.
I am sure other friends,
will also be in shock.
I apologize for not contacting
each of you in person.
I just don't have the energy.
Amber suffered all of her life
with mental issues.
My family has never been considered a
We would,I believe,in general, be described as a typical American family, wanting the best
out of life
for our loved ones
We tend to be
kind, caring, compassionate,
law abiding citizens,
who are supportive
of law enforcement
and we are in shock --
Despite our efforts,
in each and every way possible,
from her early years on,
to somehow help our daughter,
our efforts failed.
She was a little girl that was loved.
She was our daughter that was loved.
She was a granddaughter that was loved.
She was a mother that was loved.
She was a friend that was loved.
Despite the love,
Despite the efforts,
She was a person who chose
a self destructive path of drug use,
leading to addiction,
leading to crime,
leading to death,
leading to sorrow
and for others.
We wish it had been different
we are GrAtEfUl
no other innocent person
in this last dramatic event
of her life.
Kelly Amber DuPriest