On December 1, 2009 Lacey Gaines, from Justice, Illinois celebrated her 20th birthday but only 6 days later this young lady was found dead in her apartment. According to police there were no signs of force entry, no evidence of sexual assault and no evidence of robbery, yet her boyfriend found her in a pool of her own blood with an electrical cord wrapped around her neck. Her throat had a 4-inch gash across it. Police say that evidence found at the scene do suggest that Lacey Gaines could have known the person who took her life.

Who would want to kill this young girl full of life and that everything to live for? Lacey’s aunt, Cherry Simpson described her niece as a sweet polite girl that grew up in a lavish country home that had attended a private Lutheran Day school. She was one of a few selected students through an exchange program at the school that were allowed to travel to France to help teach students there. She returned to France the following year at the age of 15 which seems to be when she started to exhibit some rebellious traits. Simpson said her niece got pregnant in 2007 but ended up in an abusive relationship causing her to have to get an order of protection.

After the birth of her child she started seeing a new man that was Hispanic that spoke little English. She told her aunt that they were in love. In March 2009 her baby’s father began to question the paternity of her son and took a DNA test to make sure he was the father. Her Aunt said that during this time Lacey had moved to another apartment and when she didn’t hear from Lacey as often she had hoped it meant that things had finally started to look up for her.

Now here it is February 2011 and still no one has been charged for the murder of Lacey Gaines. Who has killed her? Have they gotten away with murder, or do they just think they have? Although they have not made it very clear as to who they have their main focus on, the police have stated that they are sure that Lacey’s child’s father has nothing to do with it.

The sad part about this case is that Lacey Gaines is just one of an ever increasing number of crimes that remain unsolved. I would not have heard about this case were it not for my good friend, author Denny Griffin. On Tuesday evening his CrimeWire radio program spotlighted the story. Within hours, the reward offered for information was doubled to $2000. While $2000 is not a huge amount of money, it does go to show that the internet can make a difference.

More information about the case can be found on crimewiresite.com. My personal view is that rather than collect the cash, the person or persons that have information should share it with Law Enforcement. Someone knows something. It is time to step up to the plate and help solve this murder. A family is grieving and angry, Lacey cannot be brought back, but she and her family deserve justice. If you have information, please share it. There are numerous ways that this can be done without it being made public.

Simon Barrett

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