The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 18, 2009

Remembering Jessie

Students her victim's story

GEORGETOWN — An emotional crowd gathered Friday afternoon at Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School to remember Jessica Roach.

"You just can’t understand it. I asked myself, ‘Why Jessie?’" said Jessica’s mother, Terry Roach.

On Sept. 20, 1993, 15-year-old Jessica went to school at GRHS like any other day. When she came home, she rode here bike up the rural road near her home about a half mile.

That’s where Larry Hall abducted her.

"She did everything right," Roach said. "She didn’t talk to him. She tried to get away. He took her anyway. It took him less than three minutes to take her."

Roach described the period between when her daughter was abducted and when her body was found.

"You do what you do because it’s what you’re suppose to do,” she said. “Of course, I got angry. He had as much control over my life as he was going to get. She missed everything from her nieces and nephews being born to her sisters getting married."

On Nov. 6, weeks later, Jessica’s body was found near Perrysville, Ind.

"My heart sank," said Denny Gardener, former police officer and family friend. "I held her when she was born. Her father was best man at my wedding."

In October 1994, two Georgetown teens reported to police that a strange man had tried to follow them and talk to them.

The girls wrote down the license plate number and description of the vehicle. Police then found and arrested Hall.

"Had it not been for those two girls being aware of what was going on and remembering what happened to Jessie, Larry Hall may never have been found," Roach said. "Think of how many other young girls they saved."

After Roach’s death, her classmates put a tree outside of the school to remember her. Since then, the tree died. The family raised money to put up a new tree.

Text Only
Local News
  • DHA celebrates 75 years; contract under review DANVILLE — As the Danville Housing Authority celebrates 75 years this year, it’s also undergoing some transition with new board members.July 20 marked 75 years for the housing authority. DHA officials are talking about having a recognition event.The

    July 24, 2014

  • U.S. pushes for truce as battle rages GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town as the top U.S. diplomat reported progress in efforts to end fighting that has so far killed more than 680 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.But ne

    July 24, 2014

  • Jet victims' bodies arrive EINDHOVEN, Netherlands — Two planes carrying 40 coffins bearing victims of the downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 landed Wednesday in the southern city of Eindhoven, and pro-Russian rebels shot down two fighter jets in Ukraine’s restive east as fight

    July 24, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Tuesday, 9:23-9:33 p.m. — A medical call in the 200 block of Grace Street.Tuesday, 10:41-10:50 p.m. — A medical call in the 600 block of Pixley Street.Wednesday, 12:30-12:45 a.m. — A medical call in the 3

    July 24, 2014

  • Malachi Hatcher.jpg Murder charges coming soon DANVILLE — A man arrested on shooting charges at the end of June now will face murder charges stemming from the incident.Seventeen-year-old Malachi D. Hatcher was arrested on June 24 on a warrant charging him in connection with the June shooting of t

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jobs board sees numerous openings DANVILLE — Vermilion Advantage President and CEO Vicki Haugen can’t remember a time when the local job openings board had so many open positions.It reached 68 job opening postings, some representing multiple job opportunities totaling more than the 6

    July 24, 2014

  • Fair Oaks7.jpg A full, balanced meal The line of children forms early in the day in front of the community building at Danville Housing Authority’s Fair Oaks public housing complex.The children, ranging in age from 1 to 18, eagerly wait for the nutritious lunch they will be served as pa

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walldogs artists come to Ridge Farm RIDGE FARM — A group of five Walldogs artists, four of whom worked on the Danville Walldogs murals, are making a return visit to the area.This time they will be painting a mural in Ridge Farm.The site is downtown, at Illinois Route 1 and Woodyard, wh

    July 24, 2014

  • Children’s play set for weekend

    July 23, 2014

  • Westville council limits parking on two streets

    Village trustees approved an ordinance Tuesday night to restrict parking on two village streets.

    July 23, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Must Read