Deadly Injustice: Caitlin's Friends

Deadly Injustice: Caitlin's Friends

Caitlin's friend, 15-year-old Matt, was in school with her the day she disappeared.

"About a week-and-a-half before Caitlin was killed she had told me that she was terrified that something was going to happen to her, her sister or her mother," Matt recounts. "Me and my friends, we didn't think that the five minutes that she was walking to her car was enough time for her to be kidnapped. I felt like I could have done something. I could have walked her out to her car and been there and just made sure nothing happened to her. And I just felt guilty for not trying to prevent something that was going to happen. When I realized that Caitlin wasn't coming back, I cried and cried. She wasn't going to be there anymore."

Several of Caitlin's friends join Dr. Phil from Oklahoma via satellite. They all don T-shirts bearing Caitlin's picture and sit before a broad banner emblazoned with her name.

Addressing Sierra, a member of the group, Dr. Phil says, "So, tell me about this banner that's hanging behind you."

"Well, the Ada High School band boosters had this banner made for us to put on the field during competition, half-times and parades," Sierra says.

"We did it in memory of Caitlin so we would have her in our minds and our hearts, and so we'd always remember her," another friend adds.

"Obviously, it's difficult to talk about, but is it something that you are talking about among yourselves and your friends?" asks Dr. Phil. They respond that yes, they are.

Another member of the group speaks up. "My name's Katie. And we've been getting a lot of support from, like, the community, and they've been doing a lot of stuff for us."

"Everything everybody's doing is helping us a lot," Sierra adds.

"I really hope that all of you — and as representatives of the school, you can kind of carry this message back to everyone," Dr. Phil tells them. "The worst possible thing that could happen is not to talk about this.
Caitlin's memory is so important, and her loss can be so painful that you can just kind of say, 'Well, I just don't want to think about it today. I don't want to talk about it today because it hurts so much.' And that is absolutely the worst possible thing you can do. You have to kind of keep an eye out and watch for anybody who seems to start really withdrawing, really having a problem from this, really stepping back and not talking about it and internalizing it a lot, and you've got to reach out to them. You can't just kind of let them fall through the cracks. You've got to reach out to them."