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More Parke Co. tragedy: How will the family pay for the murdered girls' funeral?

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

(Photo)
By EDIE CAMPE

eacampe@yahoo.com

An e-mail is all it took to get the Indianapolis Colts involved in helping out family members of the Parke County triple homicide victims.

Sherry Wilkinson, of Brazil, took the initiative to send an e-mail to the Colts for a donation of items to raise money in a raffle for the funeral and burial expenses of Brittany Williams, 12, and Victoria Williams, 10.

The sisters were buried Nov. 5. Callahan Funeral Home, Terre Haute, handled the arrangements.

Wilkinson, a friend of the Williams family, decided to do something to help. She got the idea after the Colts sent a flower arrangement and team autographed football to the funeral of the victims. According to Wilkinson, the girls were fans of the 12-0 team.

"(The Williams family) all watched the Colts games together. I have a new appreciation for the Colts. When there was no tickets to be had, they got us tickets," Wilkinson said.

Starla and Ryan Williams are struggling to stay out of debt while trying to care and console two other children. Ryan has not been working since the death of his only two biological daughters. Starla, their stepmother, has found it difficult to find a job while she is in school.

This year has been rough for the Williams family. According to Wilkinson, the Williams' also experienced a house fire last spring that took priceless possessions.

Thanks to Wilkinson's e-mail explaining the grief of the family, the Colts provided two tickets to their Dec. 18 home game against the San Diego Chargers and a football autographed by Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning, wide receiver Brandon Stokley and kicker Mike Vanderjagt, was donated for the raffle by another family friend.

Raffle tickets can be purchased at The Brazil Coffee Company (533 E. National Ave.), Family Hair Quarters (116 S. Franklin), The Brazil Times (100 N. Meridian St.), The Beverage Place (601 Main St., Clay City) or at Pacesetter Sports (2831 S. 3rd St., Terre Haute). Tickets are $5 for one or $10 for three. The last day to purchase tickets will be Dec. 14 and the drawing for both items will be on Dec. 15. The winner will be notified the same day. All proceeds go to the Williams family.

The Indianapolis Colts declined to comment on the team's contributions.

The two girls and their mother, Trisha Cottrell, were murdered in the rural Rockville home of Chad and Trisha Cottrell sometime on Halloween weekend. Murder suspect Chad Allan Cottrell is being held in the Parke County Jail.



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