Empathy. It’s a word defined as the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
But to truly recognize and understand someone’s pain and suffering on a deep level, it requires walking a mile in their shoes.
Autumn Stone was wearing tennis shoes as she walked along the well tread path at Green Lake on that gorgeous Labor Day weekend in 2019.
Green Lake is a hot spot in Seattle for paddleboarding, kayaking and swimming. And the three mile path that circles the lake is ideal for joggers, walkers, and folks on wheels.
On that Friday at noon, Autumn walked the path alone with a heavy heart. The 23 year old had worried away 12 pounds in the last 9 days.
Even though the park was packed, no one noticed Autumn until it was too late.
Nobody heard the silent keen from the depths of her soul. No one knew that this young mother should have had her 5 week old, Devante, snuggled up to her breast.
But she hadn’t held her newborn in 9 days. Not since the night she had left her sleeping baby with his father to make a quick fast food run.
When she returned, her precious baby was clinging to life.
Unbeknownst to Autumn, her fiancé, Tyler, had gone to prison previously for shaking a different baby.
Their relationship was over. Even though she was crushed, Autumn’s family said she was on track to do whatever it took to get her baby back.
She leaned into her faith for strength, writing a prayer in her journal just before driving to Green Lake, where she received a flurry of calls from her step mother, the first family member to be cleared to hold her baby.
It would have been a welcome relief for Autumn, if she ever got that final phone call. But, by that time, Seattle Police were pulling her lifeless body from the lake.
Investigators were quick to call it a suicide, but Autumn’s friends and family have their doubts…
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