Jeanette Marie Maples

Jeanette Marie Maples

Death 9 Dec 2009 (aged 16)
Springfield, Lane County, Oregon, USA
Burial Burial Details Unknown
Memorial ID 45306378 View Source

Jeanette's 41-year-old mother and 40-year-old stepfather face charges of murder in the death of 16-year-old Jeanette, through neglect, mistreatment, maiming and torture. A so-far unidentified caller dialed 911 to report a girl was having trouble breathing, and medics arrived at the residence at 8:04pm December 9th. They took Jeanette to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend Hospital, where she was declared dead.
‘Happiness in her own world'
(The Register-Guard
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, page A1)

A piece of notebook paper with a pencil-drawn lily and the words "R.I.P. Jeanette Marie Maples" was draped over the 15-year-old's casket at a Springfield funeral home Wednesday afternoon. Lilies were her favorite flowers.

Also on the wooden casket: a picture of Jeanette, smiling in the snow. The blue frame read, "We love you."

About 100 people attended the service at Major Family Funeral Home to remember Jeanette, who died last week, a victim of murder by abuse, according to authorities. Absent from the service were the girl's mother and stepfather, who at the same hour were being arraigned in Lane County Circuit Court on charges of neglecting and torturing the teen.

Jeanette's father, Anthony Maples, and her two older brothers, all of California, were not in attendance, nor were her two younger half-siblings, who were placed in state custody last week. But Jeanette's step-grandparents, Lynn and Dennis McAnulty of Leaburg, attended along with other family members, including Jeanette's teenage cousin, Jasmin Pinuelas, who prepared a poem.

Pinuelas began reading but only made it through the first few sentences of her poem, during which she said her "family is now broken," before she trembled and wept.

Others in attendance included Lane County Deputy District Attorney Erik Hasselman; Ann-Marie Lemire, a Sacred Heart Medical Center chaplain; and Jennifer Smyly, a counselor at Cascade Middle School, where Jeanette graduated from eighth grade last year. More recently, Jeanette had been home-schooled.

Smyly told Jeanette's family that teachers and staff at Cascade Middle School "truly cared about Jeanette. We took her under our wings when we could."

The hourlong service began with Debbie Chester, a former classmate of Jeanette's, and her mother, Angie Chester, singing a version of country singer Martina McBride's "Concrete Angel," a song about an abused girl.

Dianne Rush, a celebrant for the funeral home, told family members they "cannot be encumbered by what they can't change," and told Jeanette's step-grandparents that she felt their love. Rush read several excerpts of Jeanette's poetry, including verses on love and friendship.

In one poem, the teen wrote that if she could fly she'd go to Portugal and France because of her mother's heritage. And after visiting the two countries, Jeanette wrote that she'd fly to heaven and then fly home.

Through her poetry, which she wrote in journals and "secret diaries," Jeanette "found happiness in her own world," Rush said. Jeanette dreamt of becoming a chef, librarian or poet, Rush said.

Several of Jeanette's middle school friends stood and spoke about their former classmate. Jeanette, whom friends described as quiet and shy, won two awards for perfect attendance, which the family featured in a video tribute to the teen.

Rai Trotter stood and spoke about her time as Jeanette's science partner in biology class.

"I wish I would have gotten to know her better," the 16-year-old said. "I just wish this wouldn't have happened."

A little later, two of Jeanette's former classmates embraced Trotter, who wept alone in a pew.

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