Monday Morning Water Cooler Talk for Sept. 3, 2012

Sharon Applewhite: A Mother Faces the Reality of Her Daughter’s Untimely Death

The death of a loved one is the 2,000 pound specter that sits in everyone’s room and hovers in the psyche of all humanity.  Though no one really wants to talk about it, it is there. Ever-present and looming, like a bad dream or scary tale,  it is everyone’s worse nightmare. Unfortunately for Sharon Applewhite, it has become her reality.

Every since the death of her daughter, Alida Nelson at the age of 30, Ms. Applewhite has lived the nightmare, shifting from shock to disbelief to numbness.  Her voice trembles as she talks about Alida. She is both a troubled mother and a victims’ advocate.

Showing a range of emotions, Ms. Applewhite sat down with The Real Story and discussed the pain, sorrow and concerns she has felt over the past seven years.  Discussing the fact that her daughter’s death has been tainted by the possibility of suicide, Sharon stands by her conviction that her daughter would not have committed such an act.

Remembering the facts of that day, May 25, 2005, Ms. Applewhite spoke carefully, “Alida had had a wreck in her new vehicle, the insurance estimator came to do an estimate and I was trying to call her on her cell phone. She never answered.”

The rest of Ms. Applewhite’s day became a search for her daughter.  “She lived right behind me,” Sharon continued.  “We had become close over the past six or seven years, after she came back home (to Lowndes County.)  Ms. Applewhite’s heart dropped at the thought of losing her daughter after experiencing a rebirth of their relationship.  The pain of such an untimely ending to a renewed relationship was apparent in her voice.

What follows is Ms. Applewhite’s recollection of the events surrounding her daughter’s death. Because this is an active case, some details have been modified to ensure the case will not be compromised. These details will be placed in parenthesis.

“I got a call from (an acquaintance of Alida) saying he had her phone,” stated Ms. Applewhite.  “He was saying that she had left it on his desk. This was around 10 a.m.”

“This is around 3 (p.m.) something. I found out she had left a note on the seat of (her acquaintance’s) car. I am not sure if it was her writing,” Ms. Applewhite stressed. “She left her children at the day care, but there was no call saying she would be late.”

With sadness and reflection, Sharon moved on, “This went on for two days.”

During the conversation, Ms. Applewhite did not paint a picture of the perfect daughter. She knew that Alida had problems and did not sugar-coat these facts. “Lowndes County Investigator Greg Wright had a warrant out for her [Alida] for stealing money from the humane society,” Ms. Applewhite stated. However, she stood firm in her conviction that her daughter had not committed suicide.

“On a Friday, a church member heard the scanner and told me they had found the body,” continued Ms. Applewhite. “We met with Greg Wright and we learned that the body was burned in a van.”

Ms. Applewhite remains convinced that her daughter did not commit suicide, even if that prospect was brought forth.  “I do not feel that the case was investigated to its fullest.”  [Some aspects of this case are not being released because it is an active investigation.]

Chief Deputy Marc Miley reiterated to The Real Story that this case has not been closed and that he would be unable to give further information on the case.  This is standard operating procedure in cases of this magnitude. Chief Deputy Miley, however, did offer his support to the family and indicated that he would be willing to meet with them at their convenience.

The untimely death of a loved one is one of the most shattering moments a person can experience. Law enforcement officials are aware that whether it is a suicide, a murder or a traffic accident, the family of the deceased will suffer trauma. The victim’s family will be forever altered and scarred. It is not a question of if, but only a question of to what degree.

For many people, the death of a loved one will be the defining event in their family’s existence.  It will forever alter the relatives’ perception of reality. It will be a day that never dies. It is a continued cycle of suffering. A place where closure never occurs.

Sharon Applewhite lives in this world every day.  A victim of suffering she did not create. A mother who grieves for her child – not out of selfishness, but out of love. She doesn’t think her daughter was perfect; she just needs closure. She needs to know what happened on May 25, 2005. She needs answers. Answers that every mother would want.

She needs to know what happened to her daughter. It’s that plain and simple.

Anyone who has information on this case is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (662) 494-0109.

Joseph B. St. John

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About The Real Story

The Real Story for the Golden Triangle and North Mississippi. Always the truth... No Compromise. Changing the community one story at a time! You make the news... We keep it Real.

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