CR murder victim's family relieved by arrest - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CR murder victim's family relieved by arrest

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The family of 54-year-old murder victim Cathy Stickley issued a statement to the media on Tuesday, saying they are relieved an arrest has been made.

The statement was written by her children, and described Stickley's love of painting and driving a taxi. Stickley's youngest son had recently expressed concern over her safety, but was told not to worry by his mother.

The family talks about the reputation of the Wellington Heights area, but in their own words express a deep affection for the neighborhood.

Below you can read the full statement from the family.

Cathy's family was greatly relieved to hear of today's arrest by CRPD. We are greatly appreciative of the hard work, effort and swift action by the police. CRPD has been great to our family throughout this phase of the process. However, the tragedy of our mother's death still remains with our family and respectfully requests all media not to contact our family as we continue to mourn our family's loss. At this time, we would like to share the following about our mother, who we lovingly called Mimi.

My mother could be defined as either a taxi cab driver who painted as a hobby or an artist who drove taxi as a hobby. Her house is filled with many of her creations as is each of her children's houses. Her artistic style varied from still plant to modern/new age abstract using acrylic based paints on canvass. One of our favorites is of a mother and her new born dolphin swimming in a fluid blue sea. The painting was a great representation of her talent and style. Her oldest son, Chris, felt her talent was so good that just 2 weeks ago, he had taken his personal pieces from his mother's collection to an art dealer in hopes that her talent could be turned into retirement income. The art dealer I shared the pieces with saw promise and some raw talent with my mother's work. However, I could not convince her to leave her daughter and family or the Taxi business to live with me in Wisconsin. She loved being a cab driver and loved to share stories. She drove cab for 12 plus years for both Yellow and Century cab. She had plenty of stories to tell. She was our personal taxi cab confessions. Her job often brought her to the 15th and 1st Ave area. Her youngest son had recently expressed concern over her safety. David states his mother's response, "Don't worry, the people down here love me." And I'm sure that is the case. One bad person does not make a neighborhood. Many good people do. And our family was no stranger to Wellington Heights, for a majority of our youth my mother called Wellington Heights home raising 4 children mostly on her own.

Her children are Chris (Amanda) Petersen, Dawn Stickley, Tiffany Stickley, David Stickley and during our youth we called Wellington Heights home. When Chris and Dawn were less than 5 years old they lived on Bever Ave with Dave Stickley, Cathy's second husband. We moved out of Wellington for a little while during which time Tiffany and David were born. In a few years we moved to the Mound View neighborhood to a house on 15th and A Ave. Only 1st Avenue separates Mound View with Wellington. Our house is no longer there. However, we acquired many friends and childhood memories from the neighborhood. We lived here for about 2 years when we moved back to Wellington Heights for another year on 15th and Washington Ave. This was around 1985/86. While in this house many more good friendships were made. One friendship of my mother's became a lifelong friend and fishing buddy, Shirley. A lot of interesting events happened in this house that would impact me and my family for a lifetime. One Christmas Eve, my mother and I returned home with presents from her parents, Neville and Betty (Nemec) Boyle, both deceased. After I awoke the neighbors with a cheerful, "Merry Christmas" as the clock struck midnight, a young black woman stumbled into my arms whispering, "Help me". She had been beaten badly and was bleeding from her head. A man was following her but once he saw me he ran off. A part of me today Thanks God I was there at this moment in time to help this woman. Had I left her there there's a good chance she would not have survived the cold winter's night or another attack by her assailant. Over the past week some people have shared with me how much the neighborhood has changed for the worst. I don't think that's fair to say. As I drove around my old roots this week reflecting on my mother's life I saw many wonderful people. One man was watering his small tidy garden. Another war veteran was walking along the road. Young children were playing kick ball in a back yard and many were playing at another park. Still, sometime after this we moved out of the neighborhood for about 2-3 years until we returned to a house on 2nd Ave and 14th. From here I was a Sophomore-Senior in High School. At this time, my brother was old enough to play catch. Sometimes we would just play in the alley way and often took our game with many of the youth in the area to Rose Park (as I remember it) now Huston Park. All of this was just one block away from my Mother's Death. In fact, I also played a lot of back alley basketball at the time. I shot hoops right where my mother died with many friends who liked to call me money every time I shot. How ironic at one time I was deadly from the very spot that someone from MY neighborhood would claim my mother's life. An impression of the hoop I shot at still exists today on the garage. Our family has since moved out of Wellington Heights, Wellington Heights will always be considered a part of our history.

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