MARSHALL, Mich. (March 12, 2014) – Ten years ago today, Mary Lands vanished in Marshall. She was last seen leaving her apartment after an argument with her boyfriend on March 12, 2004.
What happened to her is still unknown. The community, law enforcement and her family gather every year to remember her and plead the public for answers. However, family members did not attend this year.
Private investigator Jim Carlin was hired in April 2004 by Lands’ parents to look into her disappearance.
He said Anita and Clifford Marshall found it particularly difficult to attend this year.
“They should have been sitting here today and what bothers me is that they are not. But this family is not seeking vengeance or revenge,” Carlin said.
Carlin and others still believe Lands`boyfriend at the time, Chris Pratt, is responsible for her disappearance. Carlin said Pratt physically abused Lands, but there hasn’t been enough evidence to file criminal charges.
In 2007, Pratt went to prison for domestic violence against another girlfriend.
“We went to the parole board a couple of times to keep him in. They did agree three times. But there’s only so many times you can keep people in jail for certain crimes,” Carlin said.
This past November, Pratt was released on parole. That makes this anniversary of Lands’ disappearance especially hard for her parents.
“They’re angry. They`re disappointed. Their spirit is broken. They’re disillusioned by a justice that has not been able to resolve the problem of what happened to Mary Lands. Who can blame them?” Carlin stated.
Carlin said Pratts release adds to the frustration.
“They don`t care about the person responsible for the disappearance. If he even serves a day in jail, they are just begging for that one person to anonymously call the police, point them in the direction of where Mary can be recovered. When that happens, you`ll never hear from the Marshalls again,” Carlin said.
Carlin is also the private investigator hired to search for Teleka Patrick. The missing doctor from Kalamazoo’s name came up during Lands’ vigil. Both women are missing and their families want closure.
Anyone with information in either case is asked to call 269-274-6334.