MARCIA Gordon and her husband, Gerrit, yesterday spoke of their anguish at hearing the news that the lifeless body of their 20-year-old daughter, Lee Ann Gordon, had been discovered in some bushes in Parkside on January 17.
Gordon said they were informed just hours after Lee Ann’s body was discovered.
Speaking to the Saturday Dispatch yesterday from their Gonubie home, they told of their disbelief at the news and asked that other parents become more vigilant about their children’s behaviour.
“Parents going through this kind of thing should speak out about it.
“It’s important that they join support groups and support each other. It really does help,” said Gordon.
Gerrit added: “If parents know what is out there, they need to realise that they need to educate themselves about these things.
“If you suspect your child [is taking drugs], don’t wait, act on it now. It doesn’t matter who you are, your child is susceptible to this.”
They said their daughter had a bubbly, humorous personality and was a talented singer and dancer.
However, after Lee Ann became involved with drugs during her first year of high school, they said that it was like she started “leading a double life”.
“It started in her first year at Stirling. I noticed differences in her behaviour, and I don’t know if it’s because I’m her mother but I could sense it,” said Gordon.
Acting on her suspicions she decided to search Lee Ann’s room where she found marijuana. Lee Ann’s drug use later escalated to other drugs, including mandrax and tik (methamphetamine).
“Something must have happened for her to have started using,” Gordon said, adding that they had even spoke about having Lee Ann arrested at one stage and kicked her out of the house out of desperation.
Gordon Johnson, Lee Ann’s grandfather and not a family friend as previously reported, recalled how the whole family had attempted to intervene in the matter.
“I think it’s important to know that a lot was tried to get her on the right road,” said Johnson.
“I was a priest at a parish in Barkly East when Lee Ann [came to stay with us] for about two weeks to sort herself out. Even that didn’t help. She insisted on coming home after two weeks.”
Gerrit, who described Lee Ann as being the “apple of my eye”, said his daughter became a more and more isolated individual. “She would arrive home and head straight for her room and speak nothing of her other life,” Gerrit said, adding that she would often disappear for days on end.
“She would tell us that she is going to the shop, then she’d be gone for a week and only sometimes would come home on the same day.” Gordon said she missed talking to her daughter most.
“I miss our conversations most and the times Lee Ann spoke to me about certain things.
“It was like heaven being able to speak to her, like having the old Lee Ann back.
“It’s amazing how all the good things about her stand out now.”
Lee Ann’s older sister, Patricia, said Lee Ann had never spoken to them about the life she led in Parkside and only spoke of her Gonubie friends.
“When Lee Ann and I were younger we had our little arguments here and there but growing up we became closer and closer,” she said. “But she would never really speak to me about boyfriends, and only about her Gonubie friends.”
The family said the past week had been an extremely difficult one for them but they were grateful for support received. Police Captain Steven Marais said yesterday that there was no new information regarding the investigation into Lee Ann’s murder at this stage. — firstname.lastname@example.org