Draper » For two families, Wednesday’s announcement clearing two men of murder came as a relief.But it also brought more questions.
Though they have never met, both families wondered the same thing: Who killed Anne Kasprzak?
The 15-year-old Riverton girl, who pronounced her name "Annie," was killed nearly a year ago today: Her body, beaten beyond recognition and left in the Jordan River in Draper, was found on March 11, 2012.
Her death remains unsolved.
Within three weeks of the murder, Draper police made two arrests in what initially appeared to be an air-tight case, with a female eyewitness prepared to testify against the two felons. She claimed she saw them knock the girl unconscious, drive off with her body and return hours later covered in blood and bragging about killing her.
But Draper police announced Wednesday that they had arrested the wrong men. Daniel Ferry, 32, and Veanuia Vehekite, 31, were cleared through an extensive investigation, police said.
The news came as a relief to Daniel Ferry’s mother, Loris, and his brother, Chris.
"I never believed Daniel did it," Loris Ferry said. "I’ve just felt horrible for Anne’s family."
The two listened in on a press conference at Draper City Hall, hoping to hear police issue an apology for all the heartache they had put the family through in a situation that Loris Ferry said "terrorized our entire family."
They left disappointed.
Chris Ferry said he has been traumatized since police raided the home and is unable to sleep at night. He also fears for the safety of his brother, who was erroneously branded by police as a child killer.
"I’m upset, upset," Chris Ferry said. "They treated us horrible. They ruined our house."
The news was welcomed by Anne’s mother, Veronica Kasprzak.
"I am relieved that everybody is now aware that we’re now looking in a different direction in the case," she said during a phone interview.
Veronica Kasprzak believes someone is keeping a big secret — the name of the person or persons responsible. The family is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Anne’s killer.
"We’d prefer to be able to move on," Veronica Kasprzak said. "To know what’s happened. To remember the parts of Anne that we love as opposed to how she died."
‘No more secrets" » On Sunday, Anne’s family will host a public candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. on the Jordan River bridge near the area of 12600 S. Jordan River Parkway Trail in Draper, where her body was discovered.
They’ll pass out red wristbands (red was Anne’s favorite color) that read: "No more secrets. Be the change."
"So there are no more secrets regarding Anne’s case," Veronica Kasprzak explained. She hopes whoever is keeping the secret that could bring her daughter’s killer to justice will come forward.
"As a family we’re not convinced [Ferry] is responsible," she said. "The information that we’ve received from police is not enough for them to file charges. Not enough for them to feel like this is exactly what happened. It doesn’t mean there’s no way possible he was involved; it just means, based on the information we have, it doesn’t [add up] for us."Next Page >
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.