Finding hope after the murder of their daughter, Jennifer Teague
Published Thursday, February 12, 2015 4:57PM EST Last Updated Thursday, February 12, 2015 6:47PM EST
It has been ten years now since Barrhaven teen Jennifer Teague was abducted, raped and murdered by a complete stranger. It was a senseless crime that rocked this community. Out of the darkness of that tragedy, comes hope in the form of a book written by Jennifer's father and stepmother, entitled “Behind the Darkest Hours; Where Hope Lies.”
That they can laugh again is a testament to the power of faith and forgiveness in the lives of Ed and Sylvie Teague.
‘We survived, we are actually survivors and not just victims of crime,’ says Jennifer Teague’s stepmother, Sylvie.
That journey to healing has been long and bumpy and began with the most horrific of news; the disappearance and murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Teague. The high school student disappeared in September of 2005, after a late-night shift at a Barrhaven fast food restaurant. After a massive police search, the teen's body was found ten days later, naked and covered with brush in some woods near Moodie Drive. Nearly a year later, Kevin Davis was arrested and ultimately convicted of her murder.
‘We realized he's already taken part of our lives from us,’ says Ed Teague of Davis, ‘and if we couldn't forgive him, he was going to take more and we just said that's not going to happen.’
Thebook was born out of that need to forgive. Written by Sylvie, Jennifer's stepmother, but with contributions, of course, from Ed, it begins the day Jennifer disappeared and follows the family’s frantic initial appeals to get the police to help.
‘The photo that Ed had urgently provided to the police department had not yet been sent to the missing persons unit and wouldn't be there until Monday,’ Sylvie reads, ‘By Monday, Jenny would have been missing for 4 consecutive nights. That was completely unacceptable. She was worth more than that and I wasn't leaving until I convinced the officer that something was going to be done.’
Recalling those events has been painful, but cathartic, too.
‘She would send me segments of the book,’ says Ed, ‘and I would read them at noon time and I would be at my desk sniffling. It was difficult to go back, difficult to relive things but in a way it was healing.’
Sylvie says their hope through this book is to help other victims of violence heal, as well.
‘That is our greatest desire, to help people find hope beyond their circumstance.’
For parents, it is an opportunity for Ed to remind them to hug their kids when they can. Life can change suddenly.
‘That child is God's gift,’ says Ed, ‘and you have to hold them tight. You have to hold them tight.’
The Teagues will launch their book "Beyond the Darkest Hours; Where Hope Lies" March 14th at the Stonebridge Golf Club in Barrhaven. It can also be ordered in bookstores or on-line.