Millington Lantern Walk Honors Rape Victims

(Millington, TN) Hundreds of people lit lanterns Monday night to remember a Millington woman murdered almost 30 years ago.

They walked around the Glen Eagle Golf Course Monday night to honor Lance Corporal Suzanne Collins was raped and murdered near the Navy base.

The crime was so horrific, it made national headlines.

The lantern walk honored her and all other victims of sex crimes.

“Suzanne waited 30 years for this,” said Susanna Parkinson, a victim advocate at the Fleet and Family Support Center at the Naval Support Activity Mid-South.

Suzanne was abducted on an evening jog in 1985 and raped, then murdered.

Judge Bobby Carter prosecuted that case all those years ago.

‘It is one golf course over where she was found,” said Carter. “It’s kind of eerie to be walking through a place similar to where she spent her last hour.”

Suzanne’s killer got the death penalty and was executed in 2006, while other victims of sex crimes still wait for justice.

“Suzanne’s face has been the face behind all of the victims that I’ve worked with in the last 20 some odd years,” said Parkinson.

Suzanne’s story inspired Parkinson to become a victim advocate.

The
NSA worker organized the walk to show people who are hurting that people care.

“We think that far less than 50 percent reports of sexual assault are ever made, said Parkinson.

“Hopefully this will bring some light and they will see you don’t have to sit back and accept it,” said Nadia Noel, another victim advocate on the naval base.

Monday night, hundreds held lanterns as a reminder that where there is light there is hope.

This was the first lantern walk, but Parkinson hopes this can become an annual tradition.

While many victims of sex crimes are often too afraid to come forward, Parkinson encourages anyone who’s been hurt to call the Rape Crisis Center at (901) 222-4350 or get in touch with the RAINN at http://www.rainn.org/.

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