Learning to Know Lacey: The Tragic Life of Lacey Gaines
Let me start off by saying I’m sorry for those who are offended that I am covering Lacey Gaines’ story. By many accounts Lacey was a beautiful woman who loved her son and was trying to make a better life for herself. Unfortunately, she chose to fall in love with a man who would later abuse her, many times viciously. 10 years her senior, Daniel Sanchez and Lacey had a relationship that led to the birth of their son Conor when Lacey was 16. I’ve seen documents showing that she was trying to get away from Daniel, looking for shelters and help. Sadly Lacey lived in fear in the years leading to her vicious murder. So far, no one has been arrested. I’m not saying Daniel had anything to do with this. Because I don’t know. But friends are starting to speak out. Those that were close to her at the end of her short life loved her very much. And they have a lot to say. These blogs are not an indictment on how Lacey was raised or what her relationship was with her parents when she died. Frankly, that’s irrelevant. Based on what I’ve seen and heard, Lacey’s parents did quite a bit for their daughter and their sons. But the fact remains, Lacey is gone and no one knows who committed this crime.
I will get into the details of that horrible day on December 7, 2009. But first I want you to hear about Lacey from her family and friends. Some will make you laugh, others will make you cry. This was Lacey’s life.
Lacey’s Aunt Cherry Simpson
I remember when Lacey came to visit us with her parents and brothers. She was young maybe 8 or 9 yrs. and she wanted to go fishing. So we all booked passage on “The Fishing Fool”. Lacey was so happy she walked gracefully across gangway to the boat, singing “We ain’t leaving ’til we’re heaving.” Oh she made me laugh.
Now this was a big boat and there were 6 of us and an extra gentleman who happened to be a Priest. Lacey I and the Priest were fishing side by side. The poles were heavy and held as many as 9 hooks. I worried if we did catch anything we’d surely be pulled overboard. But not Lacey. She was catching fish faster than anyone else on the boat. I remember her leaning over to me and whispering low, “Wanna know my secret, Aunt Cherry?” I said, “Sure, what is it? – thinking she was going to tell me she did some fancy hook maneuvering.” Lacey leaned in closer, “I pray,” then she grinned this big grin with a twinkle in her eye. She was some special little girl. She’d steal your heart the moment you laid eyes on her.
I know she’s in Heaven right now pulling in some big fish with her G’pa Charlie.
“PRAY” for Lacey. “PRAY” they catch her killer.
We had gone fishing at 6am, I had bruises under my arms from holding that pole. Lacey was so excited about her catch she wanted to cook it right away.
So we drove back to Aunt Cherry’s to cook the red fish. Lacey thought I could do anything. But I can’t am a terrible cook. I looked for my trusty Betty Crocker cookbook and it said to bread the fish.
Well I didn’t have any breading. But I had Capt Crunch cereal so that’s what I used. I told Lacey it was Aunt Cherry’s secret ingredient. I can remember her little eyes just looking at me in such adoration and she was going to keep that secret. Thankfully it turned out delicious.
Later that year we flew up to Chicago for Christmas which we always had at Lacey’s. Her Mom made red fish that Year. Lacey leaned over to me and said “It’s not as good as ours Aunt Cherry, she forgot the secret ingredient….Capt Crunch!” She was such a beautiful adventurous girl. When I think of Lacey I know she could have become someone great. It’s so sad. Christmas is going to be forever changed for so many. I miss her greatly.