A Missoula Hero in Our Neighborhood

by jhwygirl

Lost in the horrible murder story and the subsequent kudos that went to the local and other law enforcement agencies working on the murder at Copper Run apartments were the actions of an anonymous neighbor who saw her neighbor scrubbing blood off of the third floor walkway.

She could have turned the other way – she could have gotten in her car and stopped and gotten her coffee on the way to work and went on her merry day that Thursday.

Many would have done exactly that.  In fact, call me a cynic, but I bet most would have.

Instead, she picked up the phone and called police.

You know the rest of the story.

This unsung hero is an example of what it means to live in a community.  It is an example of the social responsibility that is so rare these days.

Missoula is safer for having this unnamed person around.

Thank you unnamed person.

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  1. I dunno about that. I mean, call me a misty-eyed optimist, but blood on the balcony, someone scrubbing it at that hour? It’s way too suspicious. Definitely thanks should be given to whomever made the call. It was the right thing to do. But living with a former 9-1-1 operator I tend to think that if anything, people in Missoula tend to call about too MANY “suspicious” activities.

  2. She saw blood, Joe.

    Are you saying that people shouldn’t get involved when they see blood?! And someone with stab wounds, obviously beaten and nursing a broken arm?

  3. No, I think Joe’s saying a lot of Missoulians would have made that 911 call since they’re already calling about all kinds of “suspicious activities”. (Read: dogs barking next door, someone loitering around the playground down the street, an abandoned car one block over.)

  4. SassyGirl

    Yes, I definitely believe most people would have called this in-I know I would have. Maybe not if it were hunting season. Jhwygirl, don’t be so cynical-I am sure you would have called, right. My friends dad is a police officer and she was told that Missoula receives the highest # of 911 calls per capita in the nation so I also agree that people call in about everything in this town. Just look at that silly crime report.

  5. JC

    “Missoula receives the highest # of 911 calls per capita in the nation”

    Sheesh, what does this say about our community? High crime level? Paranoid citizens? Boredom and nosiness? Low threshold for neighborly activity? Too many fender benders in a town with bad traffic problems?

  6. I said she did the right thing, jhwygirl; I’m sorry if my intent wasn’t clear.

    My point is that, if merely doing “the right thing” makes you a “hero” in today’s society, then the word is pretty much meaningless.

  7. jhwygirl

    Fair Joe – but honestly, in today’s society too many people look the other way – used to be kids were in scouts and were rewarded for their projects and learned to be good citizens…nowadays it simply isn’t true.

    That’s why many high schools are requiring some sort of public service credit hours before graduation – to instill some civic sense of responsibility.

    Too many don’t do the right thing.

    Think of Salicido’s murderers. People saw those two kids with their blood covered clothing and said nothing. What was uncovered there was through police investigation – no 911 call, right?

  8. zach

    It’s not a horrible murder story. It won’t be a murder story until a judge or jury says it was murder. Until then, it’s a horrible death story.

  9. Marguerite

    “This unsung hero is an example of what it means to live in a community”, Well that I think is absolutely true, despite whatever one may contend about how widespread and deeply felt your average Missoulian’s sense of social solidarity is.

    Fact is, though, it’s not that typical that residents of big, corporate run, impersonal apartment complexes really feel a special neighborly responsibility towards their fellow box dwellers. I do believe though that on average Missoula has a higher level of social capitol, thus higher social solidarity than your typical big city neighborhood.

    But when someone does the right thing, no matter how many people would have done so also, I don’t think we as bystanders should diminish the quality of their actions by saying “whatever, I would have done that too”.

  10. A friend of the MURDER victim

    Now, mistake me if I’m wrong, but Mr. Richards has already admitted that he killed Mike Meadows, and threw his body off the bridge. Evidence has also been collected that his broken arm was NOT a result of a fight with the victim.

    So how is this NOT a horrible Murder Story?

  11. I’m speaking for Zach, but I think he’s urging us to remember that, until a conviction is handed down, all of this is “alleged.”

    Not that it helps with grief or anger if you knew Mike Meadows.

  12. brandon

    thanks should be givin i have just one ? will the family be having a funeral i would like to go and pay my respects plus alot of other people here in jackson would like to

  13. Al O.

    jhwygirl,
    How brilliant of you to recognize someone for stepping up, let alone taking the time to post your kudos. We (Michael’s friends and family) CANNOT FIND THE WORDS to properly thank this person woman for calling the authorities. Had Richard may have literally gotten away with murder if she hadn’t called. It doesn’t bring Michael back or diminish the horrible way he died, but at least Richard is behind bars.

    Zach,
    Sorry to disagree, but this is definitely a murder case. I started to say story, but it’s not fiction, it’s painful reality.

    Jay,
    I get ‘innocent until proven guilty’ but, since you posted the evidence has piled up to beyond a reasonable doubt. And, you’re right, no matter how cut & dry it looks, it doesn’t ease the grief.

    Brandon,
    There was one service held (in California) before Michael’s body was found and, now that we ‘have him’ back, there will be another in a few weeks. That will also be in California, though, and will be a private ‘family and close friends’ service. I will see about posting an address in case you wish to send a card or note. Thank you for caring.

    Again, THANK YOU to the 911 caller!!




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