Community mourns death of 10-year-old Baraboo girl at Tuesday vigil
"Heartbroken" family shares statement of gratitude for community's response
BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV) - The Baraboo community came together to mourn the loss of 10-year-old Kodie Dutcher at a vigil Tuesday evening, after her body was found in a cornfield not far from her home.
According to Selena Seibert, the vigil’s organizer, Kodie’s family was too exhausted to attend but watched via a Facebook Live video. The organizer read aloud a message from the family at the vigil:
“We were in awe at the response of this community. From the police department, to the volunteers, to the fire department and EMS who stayed with us all afternoon, to the counselors and other individuals who literally held us up/together as our world shattered around us. Kodie was such an amazing, silly, and loving kid. We are heartbroken.”
According to authorities, Kodie’s body was found Tuesday around 11 a.m. by a National Guard helicopter. Kodie’s mother said she went missing Monday afternoon, leaving behind her phone and her shoes.
The message continued, “Thank you to everyone who donated their time and resources, who prayed and lent support.”
Community members helped search for Kodie overnight, many of them attending the vigil. They said they didn’t know her personally but felt moved to help her and her family.
“Even with my daughter being her age-- being 22-- I couldn’t imagine,” Robin Raisner, a vigil attendee, said. “Last night I was just going out of my skin, what if it would’ve been her?”
Seibert said she did not know Kodie or her family personally but could resonate with their story. Several years ago, her own daughter went missing, and the community rallied to find her.
She said, “Knowing that she didn’t-- that this little girl didn’t come home, I don’t know if saying I feel guilty-- that’s not the right way to say it, but it is for me.”
Authorities said their focus now is to investigate Kodie’s death. Her family said she took pills before leaving her home, but police have not confirmed whether those pills were connected to her death.
“We are here for the family. She doesn’t have to be alone,” said one of the vigil attendees.
According to Seibert, the family is planning another vigil, with the time and date still to be determined.
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