June 6th marks 1 year anniversary of murder of Memorez Rackely, son

June 6th marks 1 year anniversary of murder of Memorez Rackely, son. (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) - Esther Beardall has lit a candle every single day for the last 364 days to honor her daughter and her grandson. “this whole year has been so hard,” says Beardall. Her daughter Memorez Rackley and her grandson Jase, 6 were killed exactly 1 year ago Wednesday. “I would never wish that on any parent, to lose their child, their kids,” says Beardall.

Beardall says Rackley called her the day before she was killed to tell her that her ex, Jeremy Patterson, the man who would eventually take the 2 lives, was threatening her, “he (Patterson) was just following her and harassing her, trying to run her off the road,” says Beardall.

Beardall says this had been going on for days when Rackley eventually called Sandy Police who, because of a loophole in state law, couldn’t really do much, “the Sandy Police told her to go stay with friends, which she did, then he started stalking her friends,” says Beardall.

State law at the time, only allowed people to file protective orders against someone with whom they’ve lived. Since Rackley and Patterson were only dating, Rackley’s request for a protective order could not be filled. Beardall says she fears the failure in state law may have led to her daughter’s death, “I think what failed her is the system. For them not taking her as serious as the situation really was,” says Beardall.

State Representative Angela Romero and State Senator Todd Weiler, spotted the loophole in the law and made sweeping changes to Utah’s domestic violence statute, among the changes, a closing of the loophole that restricts people who don’t live together from getting a protective order. Romero says the broad changes to the law have been good for all people who are victims of domestic violence, “we've started the conversation and people are starting to talk about domestic violence and how impacts all our communities,” says Romero.

Romero says although the changes have been in effect for about a month, she anticipates that the adjustments to state law will be significant.

As for Beardall, she says time has been passing slowly and painfully for her. She says it seems like just yesterday that her daughter was running out the door for dance lessons, “she was a little girl she was my daughter she was my daughter, before she was a wife and a mother,” says Beardall.

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