I chose that photo for good reason. That photo is of a smart, strong little girl. Imagine the girl in that photo as your own daughter. Or a daughter or granddaughter of someone you know. Now, fast forward 10 or so years. That daughter is now a young mother. Now, imagine getting a call that she's been found and the news is not good.

Used with Permission-Randi Gerlach
Used with Permission-Randi Gerlach

The little girl, with the muscles, is Randi Gerlach. Randi Gerlach will not celebrate her 21st birthday. Her life was cut short, but her family hopes 'some good' can come out in the end.

You've seen the stories on the local news. For instance, Dakota News Now recently reported;

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, along with the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, is investigating a suspicious death that occurred in northeast Lincoln County.  Thursday, March 1 at 4:36 p.m., LCSO Deputies received information that the body of a deceased female was located in a residence on Hwy 11 near 270th Street.

Authorities say the deceased female was identified as 20-year-old Randi Elizabeth Gerlach.

An arrest has been made. Because I do not want to cloud anything up legally speaking, I'll leave it at that.

Here's where the story gets personal for me. Randi is the daughter, that's right d-a-u-g-h-t-e-r of a former co-worker of mine. Her father is Jody Gerlach. You might remember him from Oldies 104.7. That's right, before Hot, was Hot, it was Oldies. Joey worked with me on Oldies 104.7. Joey also pulled many, many shifts on Kickin' Country in a part-time capacity.

I recently met with Randi's parents Kara and Joey I mean Jody. During that conversation, we reminisced about meeting up a couple of years at Mikey's funeral (Results Radio Chief Engineer for many years) Bazer was there, (Jeff Bazer, Nights on Kickn' Country years ago) Randi was there and so was Michael. Michael was about 2 or 3 months at the time. That's right, their daughter was also a young mother.

I was impressed with Randi when I met her. It seemed as though I was talking to a YOUNG mother. She was smart. She was articulate, learned, and intelligent. Friends, she did not deserve what happened to her. Nobody does.

Let's see if something good can come from this. I'd love it if you would consider helping out.  A GoFundMe account has been set up. If you have already donated, thank you.

Secondly,  Domestic Violence is a very real thing. Over the next few months and probably longer, you can expect more stories from me regarding the subject. Randi's mother, Kara was adamant when we talked, she said;

Something good has to come out of this terrible event. Randi would want it, and it's my hope that something positive to come of it. Domestic Violence needs more attention.

Look up more information with The Compass Center here in Sioux Falls. There may be people reading this story now, who may not realize that they are potentially in a toxic abusive relationship. If it's you, use The Compass Center as a resource. Use them.

Now, scroll back to that photo again. The photo of the Strong Little Girl. If you have a strong little daughter, give her a kiss before bed tonight. If you have a son, give him a peck and hug as well.

If you are able, put your thumbs to work and check out that GoFundMe Account now. And then pray to God that you never have to wish for something that Kara said she would love more than anything.

One more hug from her daughter. One more hug, from Randi.

Thank you so much for sharing this story with your Facebook and Twitter friends.

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