Written by Becca Habegger, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Heidi Maring-Beecher visits her son's roadside memorial on the anniversary of his death
GALENA, Ill. (KWWL) -
Tuesday marked a tragic five-year anniversary for a Waterloo woman still grieving the death of her son.
On Sept. 13, 2006, eight-year-old Anthony William Maring died at the hands of his adoptive father, 30-year-old Douglas Maring.
It happened in Galena, Ill., where the family lived. Officials said the father fatally stabbed the boy, then drove himself and his son into a telephone pole.
Maring escaped, while Anthony was rushed to a hospital and later pronounced dead.
A three-day nationwide manhunt followed, ending only when police found Maring had hanged himself in a rural Galena barn.
Anthony's mother Heidi Maring-Beecher chose a final resting spot for her son in a cemetery overlooking the rolling hills of Jo Daviess County, Ill.
She said her son, "always wanted to fly his kite, but it was never windy enough."
The wind, she said, always seems to pick up on the hillside when she visits Anthony's grave.
"He's buried underneath a tree, so the tree's always blowing and it's weird how that always happens," Maring-Beecher said.
Maring-Beecher visits her son's grave every year on the anniversary of his death. She also visits the roadside memorial, where the vehicle drove off the road.
It's something no parent should ever have to do. She said she explains it to people this way:
"Do you remember that moment you held your child when they were first born, and you were excited and just scared and shocked and all your emotions are going through? I had that feeling, and then I held my son in the hospital when he was dead and didn't want to let go," she said, starting to tear up. "But I still counted all his fingers and toes."
Anthony would be thirteen now, and his grieving mother said she would take everything that came with having a teenager, including, "going through puberty and getting his first real girlfriend and hitting the teenage year and all those little things that people take for granted."
Maring-Beecher also lost her husband -- Anthony's killer -- five years ago.
"It's a hard thing to explain," she said. "Yes, I lost my husband, and I love the man that he was, but I hate the man, despise the man for what he did."
She has since re-married and has no other children.
"Don't know if I ever want to have children again," Maring-Beecher said. "Don't know if I'd ever trust to have children again."
She hopes people appreciate what they have.
"Don't look at the objects, but look at the people around you," she said. "Wake up every day and give your kids a kiss. Give your spouse a kiss, and be happy that everybody's there and healthy."
Though she now lives in Waterloo, Maring-Beecher regularly returns to the Anthony's hill beneath the shade tree, where there's always the right kind of wind to fly a kite.
Sept. 25 is the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. Maring-Beecher said she hopes people take time on that day to appreciate the people in their lives.
Monday, September 1 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:41:17 GMT
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