Landers Chevrolet of Joplin matches reward offered in vandalism of Riley Minnis Memorial | Landers Chevrolet of Joplin

July 23rd, 2021 by

February 11, 2019

When someone hurts one person in our community, they hurt every person in our community. That’s how we see it, and why our hearts broke when we opened the paper earlier this month to the news that someone had vandalized the memorial in Parr Hill Park to Riley Minnis, a young man who died unexpectedly in March 2015 at only age 22.

That someone would do something to hurt a family that has already suffered so much tragedy shocked and saddened us here at Landers Chevrolet Cadillac of Joplin. That’s why, on behalf of General Manager Bill Ryan and our entire Landers of Joplin family, we have matched the $500 reward Riley’s mother, Katrin Herd, and her family have offered for information leading to the apprehension of those who vandalized the memorial, bringing the total reward to $1,000.

Riley was one of the good ones. Someone who cared deeply about the world, he was constantly after his friends and family to recycle and conserve. After the 2011 tornado that devastated Joplin, Riley spent countless hours volunteering to clean up debris, putting the pieces back together and helping his community recover and heal.

To help herself heal after Riley’s death, his mother approached the city and was given permission to transform a rock and water feature in Parr Hill Park into a butterfly garden as a memorial to him. A plaque there reads: “In Memory: Riley H. Minnis. Earth’s Forever Footprint.” Since the memorial was completed, Katrin told the Joplin Globe, she has performed all the landscaping maintenance herself, and goes there often to think of her son.

“This is where I came for therapy for three years,” Katrin told The Globe, “and it made me feel better knowing there were other people coming here to enjoy it.”

At some point during the last weekend of January, someone went to Parr Hill park and defaced that special place, spray painting graffiti on virtually every surface. Though Riley’s family and the city have worked to clean up the mess, it is our hope that increasing the reward will encourage someone to come forward with information that leads to the arrest of those responsible.

If you know something about this thoughtless act that might be of help, please contact the Joplin Police Department at (417)623-3131. All tips will be kept confidential. It’s important to us, important to Riley’s family, and important to who we are as a community.

4630 E. 32nd Street Joplin MO 64804

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