FERGUS – The mother of a Fergus teen killed in a hit and run 14 years ago always hoped one day there would be an arrest in the case. But now that it has happened, old feelings and emotions are coming back.
Judie Moore, mother of Lucas Shortreed, said she was shocked when she got the news of the two arrests.
“There’s a real sense of relief and it’s happy, people are happy when they see me whereas before it was such a sad occasion,” Moore said in an interview.
Shortreed was 18 when he was struck by a car and killed while walking home from a party on Wellington Road 17 on Oct. 10, 2008. Police identified the vehicle as a mid-90s white Dodge Neon but never found the car or driver.
As years passed seemingly without any solid leads or arrests, Moore said the situation did seem hopeless for years.
That changed on Wednesday when OPP announced they had charged David Alexander Halliburton and Anastasia Marie Halliburton in relation to the case and executed a search warrant at an address on Sideroad 21 in Mapleton, not far from where Shortreed was struck, recovering a car.
“I always kind of hoped for it,” Moore said.
The Halliburtons appeared in a Guelph court on Thursday and were later released on bail.
While there was relief, Moore said this has also brought back the anger that nobody came forward.
“You can even understand that they were scared and they drove away that night and couldn’t comprehend it, the shock of it all, but I just don’t understand how they couldn’t come forward two weeks later, a month later or 14 years later, come forward on their own accord,” Moore said.
Moore said she doesn’t know the couple charged but noted a strange coincidence of having been to the house that was subject to the search warrant in the past as she knew a previous owner.
“At first everyone is happy for the news, like we finally found them, but then it changes to another more angry emotion, like ‘how could they?’” Moore said.
Moore said this case impacted the whole community but thanked them for their continued support in finding an answer.
She noted while there was a lot of press surrounding large billboards and a sign on a transport truck but the community effort seemed to slip by.
“The part that didn’t make the news was that there were these little posters and those posters were pretty much in every storefront downtown and people’s houses and everywhere,” Moore said.
“You literally cannot walk downtown without seeing Lucas’ face or drive around a neighbourhood without seeing his face because everybody wanted these people found.”
She holds on to some good memories of her son.
She recalled a story she heard at his funeral when he and friends saw someone get a kite stuck in a tree.
“They were kind of all laughing at him watching and Lucas was the only one that went over and got the kite out of the tree,” Moore said.
She also heard second hand from Wellington Terrace staff, where Shortreed volunteered for a time, about how well he treated the residents there, even making a spaghetti lunch at the end of his session.
“They told me this story, Lucas didn’t,” Moore said. “He just went ahead and did it and he didn’t think it was anything out of the ordinary to do something like that for somebody.”
Mostly to Moore, she’ll remember her son as the youngest of the siblings who loved animals and people, was caring, a bit mischievous and independent.
“It would be awesome to know what he’d be doing now but we’ll never know,” Moore said.