Remembering Cora Jones

For Rick and Vicki Jones, Cora Jones' death is still a fresh memory.

"It's hard to believe she's been gone that long," said Vicki Jones, Cora's mother. "It seems like she was just here yesterday."

On September 5, 1994, 12-year-old Cora Jones went to ride her bicycle in Waupaca. She was abducted, sexually assaulted and killed. Her body was found 5 days later in a ditch outside of Antigo.

Family and friends gathered on Forest Road-the location where Cora's body was found-to pay tribute to her memory. A memorial featuring butterfly statues, a large cross and flowers stands as a somber reminder of the tragic events that unfolded 20 years ago. Some who came even traveled out of state to make what has become a pilgrimage.

"I used to live around here but then I moved to Colorado. So I don't make it out very much," said Tyler Schwirtz, Cora's cousin. "Being that this is 20 years from when she died, I really wanted to come and bring my son."

The memorial was first created several years ago by the local community...and has grown since.

"She went from being our little girl to everybody's little girl. And people really came out in support," said Rick Jones, Cora's father.

Those gathered here say they're still healing to this day.

"It's good for us to hold onto good things in life. Cora was definitely a good thing, and I think her memory is still really positive for so many people," said Schwirtz.

And while Cora's death may still leave many with heavy hearts, it can teach a simple yet valuable lesson.

"I think the best thing that people can do is just love their own kids. Value your time with them, really." said Schwirtz.

Cora's memory still lives on in many who knew her. For them, honoring that memory is a way to reflect on the past in order to move on forward in the future.

David Span-Bauer was convicted of killing Cora and 2 others in 1994. He died in prison in 2002 while serving 3 life-terms without parole.

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