Family of murdered teen, Anne Kasprzak, pleads for resolution
Draper • No more secrets.
That's the message the grieving family of 15-year-old Anne Kasprzak wants to send to whomever brutally murdered the Riverton girl a year ago.
On the anniversary of the teen's death, more than 40 family members and friends gathered Sunday along the banks of the Jordan River for a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of the girl they call "Annie."
They also pleaded with the killer or anyone who may know something about Anne's death to come forward.
"Without any answers, there is no closure, no moving on," said her mother, Veronica Kasprzak. "We just relive what happened that day every day."
Family members said they last saw Anne alive the night of March 10, 2012, when she went to her bedroom to listen to music.
"She was in good spirits. She had her wisdom teeth pulled a week before, and she was looking forward to going back to school, and she was doing her homework," said her father, Dennis Kasprzak.
But the family believes that Anne, who was adopted and had struggled at times while growing up, secretly slipped out of their Riverton home to meet someone. The family then reported her as a runaway.
The day after she was reported missing, Anne's body was found in the Jordan River near the parkway bridge at 12600 South, beaten beyond recognition.
Within a few weeks of the murder, Draper police arrested two men in her death, Daniel Ferry, 32, and Veanuia Vehekite, 31. Last week, after a yearlong investigation, Draper police announced that both men were cleared of the murder and that the case is still open.
"There's definitely stuff going on behind the scenes," Dennis Kasprzak said of detectives and their investigation. "We're hoping we can further things along."
The family announced last week that they are offering $5,000 to anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction in Anne's murder. Anyone with information is asked to call Draper police at 801-840-4000.
Veronica Kasprzak said she is convinced that Ferry and Vehekite are not the killers because the evidence "didn't match, didn't make sense."
Originally, a witness claimed she saw both men beat the girl unconscious, drove off with her body and return to brag about killing her.
But Ferry alleged the witness was a drug addict who was angry with him at the time and made up the story.
Ferry, an admitted drug dealer and gang member, has always denied being involved in Anne's death. He is serving a one- to 15-year prison sentence for an unrelated kidnapping. VeheÂkite is being held in the Davis County Jail on federal charges.
On Sunday, flanked by folded paper cranes fluttering from a bush near where Anne's body was found, her family remembered the vivacious girl who always looked out for her siblings.
"She really was their leader and always had their best interest at heart," Dennis Kasprzak said about Anne, the oldest of two brothers and three step-siblings. "She was always their protector."
Her 7-year-old brother, William Kasprzak, said he'll always remember making necklaces and playing the game "Apples to Apples" with his big sister.
"You have been a really good sister," he said, looking toward the sky.
Anyone with information about the murder of Anne Kasprzak on March 10, 2012, is asked to call Draper police at 801-840-4000.