WARSAW — The following is the victim impact statement Katie Conrad read during the sentencing of Mickgomery Hisey Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 17, in Kosciusko Superior Court III.
“ ‘We will be at Michael’s in 15 (emoji smiley face)’ is what the text message read from Kim to Jeffery. My father-in-law, Steve, mother-in-law Kim, and brother-in-law Stephen were on their way to our house to celebrate our first Christmas as a family of seven.
“The gifts were wrapped and under the tree. Family favorite snacks lined the counter. It was the event of Dec. 25, 2016. My brother-in-law Jeffery, husband, Michael and our daughter and I were at my house, anticipating the arrival of our family to enjoy our daughter’s first Christmas.
“We waited. And waited. And waited. The messages stopped and no one answered their phones. Approximately one hour later, Michael checked the news and saw there was a head-on collision involving what appeared to be Kim’s car. He called the police station and then Michael and I both called the hospitals. We learned Steve was in critical condition, but had yet to learn the whereabouts of Kim and Stephen. Frantically, we drove to the hospital, stopping at Kim and Steve’s house on the way. That is where we learned that our family of seven was now a family of five. The coroner delivered the tragic news to Jeffery first, and then Michael who delivered the news to me.
“Grief-stricken and in complete shock, we raced out of the house, make our way back on the road to the hospital, calling on the way to confirm Steve was going to pull through and have reflexes and mobility. When we finally made it to the hospital and entered his room, Steve was lying flat on his back, in excruciating pain, as Michael looked his dad in the eye and told him that his wife and firstborn son didn’t make it. That night, our lives were forever changed.
“Over the past 9 1/2 months, our family has experienced more pain, suffering, grief and broken-heartedness than words can describe. In fact, even writing this does not do justice, as the words I can choose still only do a disservice to what we have endured.
“I have watched my grandmother and grandfather-in-law do the unfathomable, as they buried their firstborn daughter and firstborn grandson. I have watched my father-in-law suffer physically trying to regain strength after sustaining a broken back, knee and ribs, mentally as he recalled the details of the night of the tragedy and emotionally as he became a widower and laid to rest his wife of nearly 40 years and their first son.
“I have watched my brother-in-law grieve in distress and grow lonely, trying to find his place in the world without two of his foundational structures, at the young age of 27.
“I have watched my husband’s heart shatter as he aches in pain, mourning the loss of his two best friends and the ‘go-to’ people, his mom and brother, all while relentlessly working two full-time jobs to make sure we are all taken care of and to take over what is now considered the family business.
“I, myself, have endured heart-wrenching pain and loneliness that is too much to bear most days, as I try to make sense of something that I will never fully understand and as I desperately miss my family, best friends and confidants.
“Kim was a true inspiration. A pillar of our community, a wife, mother, teacher, realtor, mentor and friend. She loved people in the richest of ways and valued them for exactly who they are. She was the biggest fan of her boys, always accepted me as her first daughter and her world was filled with joy the night she met her first granddaughter.
“Stephen taught me a lot about persistence. He never gave up on his dream to play golf, and I will never forget the look on this face when he won the Indiana Open in 2012. He was an emotional supporter of our family, making it his priority to confirm everyone was always taken care of and happy, and he took that same diligence into his friendships as well.
“The world suffered the loss of two incredible people that Christmas Day. It is truly heart-wrenching to come to the realization that the rest of our days on earth will not include the presence of Kim or Stephen. Michael and my daughter and unborn child will live a life not knowing the amazing grandma and uncle they had . We shudder at the thought of having to look into their beautiful innocent eyes and explain why two of their family members cannot be with them and why Christmas Day is so painful for our family. It is hard to fathom that two lives were taken so young. I speak for my entire family when I say that most days are agonizing, as we still have to wake up and carry on, reminding ourselves that this nightmare is our reality.
“The sting of the tragedy is still as sharp today as it was on Christmas Day, but we continue to trust in God’s promises and remember that through our faithfulness to Him, there will come a day when we will get to be with our family again.”