Eight years after the body of a 13-year-old West Michigan girl was found in the Manistee National Forest, murdered, a community is coming together to raise money to bury some remains that were locked in an evidence lab.
It’s just the next chapter for the family of Amanda Lankey of White Cloud whose murderer has yet to be brought to justice.
The family is now looking to raise money to help pay for the second burial. Investigators had saved Lankey’s skull and hands for evidence after she was found murdered in 2004, now her family must exhume her grave and bury those remains with the others. The cost will be $4,000 and her family is looking for help.
“Ten percent of any bill with the flier on it is going right to the funeral home to curb some of those costs,” says Amanda Jacobs, Amanda Lankey’s Cousin.
Cranker’s waitresses Amanda Jacobs and Tammy Von Rosen are serving others in Big Rapids in order to properly bury their cousin, Amanda Lankey’s remains once again.
“Those who knew her were just captivated. She had one of the best personalities. She was always funny, always just really outgoing. We called her the social butterfly,” said Jacobs.
“She had a heck of a personality. She always made people laugh and if there was a baby in the room she had to hold it,” says Von Rosen.
The two women posted Amanda’s story on a blackboard at the restaurant, explaining to customers the story of the beautiful 13-year-old, brutally murdered, more than eight years ago. Her body discovered in the Manistee National Forest. Amanda’s killer not yet fully revealed although investigators are trying.
Part of her remains that were in a forensics lab are now being release the family unaware there wasn’t a fun to help victim’s families pay for burial. Tuesday they were working to collect 10% per check at Crankers to start getting a fund together to put her to rest.
“We`ve been waiting eight years for this. It will be nine in June. So, it will be good to have, it will be some sort of closure, you know. Nobody`s in jail yet, but it will be closure to know she`s all together and not part sitting in a lab somewhere. It’s kind of hard to think of a loved one sitting in a lab,” says Jacobs.
Customers like Bob Clark, who didn’t even know Lankey, have been generous. “Thought that is was a good cause, she really deserves to be buried whole,” says Clark.
“I`m overwhelmed by the support I guess itself,” says Von Rosen.
Eight years later the family hopes to exhume her grave and bury the rest of the remains with the others in the spring. They are also still hoping for closure in another way in 2013.
“If anybody knows any information regarding Amanda`s murder, please come forward, we are waiting for an arrest. There has still been not one arrest for a murder in Amanda`s case. We`ve had the perjury cases which is great but it just tells me that them people know more and they could help this case out a lot if they came forward with some information,” says Von Rosen.
The family hoped to raise $1,000 at Cranker’s in Big Rapids Tuesday. If you would like to help donate, there will be canisters set up in stores around the White Cloud and BIg Rapids area. Independent Bank in White Cloud is also accepting donations for the Lankey family and you can also donate at Crandlle Funeral Home for those burial expenses.