One after the other they stepped into the witness box to face Clayton Bo Eichler and tell the murderer how he had impacted their lives.
Victim impact statements were read into the record as Eichler was sentenced for the killing of 21-year-old Kelly Goforth and 23-year-old Richele Bear.
“We have lost a piece of us,” Richele’s mom, Michele Bear, stated looking directly at Eichler. “I am stuck and cannot move forward without knowing where Richele is.”
Eichler began to cry and wiped his eyes as he listened to the statements.
“My grandson is missing mommy’s love, he won’t have her arms around him,” Maxine Goforth said through tears. “I am in despair; I have emptiness, despair and agony. It was a form of torture to bury my child.”
Defence lawyer Morris Bodnar alluded to the fact Eichler had a crystal meth addiction at the time of the murders, having worked hard and partied hard as an oilfield worker.
Eichler stood and looked directly at the families as he expressed his regret that he couldn’t imagine what the families were going through and that “I am truly sorry.”
Calling the crimes “horrendous,” Justice Fred Kovach said life without parole for 20 years submitted by the Crown and defence was reasonable.
Kovach added the one positive “if I can call it that,” is that Eichler spared the families the pain of a trial by admitting his guilt.
Outside court, the two families posed by large pictures of their daughters before speaking about what Eichler’s words meant.
It gave no comfort to Bear who said without her daughter’s body it is difficult to move forward.
“I didn’t believe him,” Bear said. “If he really was sorry and if he were really sympathetic towards me, he would tell me where my daughter is and let my family bring her home.”
Given that she has given her daughter a proper goodbye, Goforth was able to take away something from what Eichler said.
“He apologized and that means a lot because my baby was wrapped in garbage bags in a hockey bag and I thought he had no soul,” Goforth stated through tears. “I know there’s divine intervention there because he apologized to me. At least I can tell my baby, my grandson Casey, that this man is sorry.”