Fam­ily of miss­ing girl thank­ful for sup­port

Ben­e­fit held for fam­ily of woman who was al­legedly stran­gled, dumped in river.

The Times-Tribune - - LOCAL - BY ROBERT L. BAKER STAFF WRITER Con­tact the writer: [email protected]­am­iner.com; 570-836-2123 x33

The cir­cum­stances are dif­fi­cult, but the fam­ily whose daugh­ter went miss­ing at the end of De­cem­ber and is be­lieved to be in the Susque­hanna River came back to Wy­oming County from Ore­gon this week­end to give thanks for the love and sup­port of­fered to them.

On Sun­day af­ter­noon, hun­dreds of people turned out at Ardee’s Foodrinkery in Falls Twp. for a pasta fundraiser to help the fam­ily of Ha­ley Loren­zen, who was al­legedly stran­gled by her boyfriend in Mill City and then her body tossed over the side of the Falls River Bridge less than 200 yards away from where the ben­e­fit took place.

“You people here are so amaz­ing. I can’t be­gin to tell you what this means to our fam­ily,” Ha­ley’s mom, Deanna Hills, of Gre­sham, Ore., said, hold­ing back tears. “To ev­ery­one here sur­round­ing us with love and sup­port, thank you so much.”

Hills had been in the area for two weeks in Jan­uary — first putting up “Miss­ing” posters with her sis­ter, Traci Dominguez, and then learn­ing the hor­rific news of what likely hap­pened to her daugh­ter af­ter a wit­ness came for­ward to the Wy­oming County dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice and pointed the fin­ger at Phillip Wal­ters, whom the wit­ness said killed Ha­ley on Dec. 30, and later called her to help dis­pose of the body in the river.

Search and res­cue units have been out on the river sev­eral times over the past month, but au­thor­i­ties are not giv­ing any in­di­ca­tion what they’ve found so far.

“Your po­lice, dis­trict at­tor­ney and de­tec­tive units have said they won’t give up un­til she’s found, and we know they’re at the mercy of the weather and ice and murky wa­ter,” Hills said.

Ha­ley’s dad, Ralph Loren­zen, called the ef­forts of the lo­cal people “fan­tas­tic” and noted, “You have such an un­be­liev­able car­ing com­mu­nity in your midst.”

Loren­zen, of Cor­bett, Ore., said he missed “dad’s girl” dearly, not­ing that they did al­most ev­ery­thing to­gether in re­cent years, such as cook­ing and kayak­ing.

He said Ha­ley met Wal­ters on the in­ter­net and came to Mill City in July to meet up with him for a cou­ple of weeks and at the time sug­gested she was con­tent, but about a week later she told him, “I want to come home.” He said he sent her the money for a plane ticket, and she re­turned to Ore­gon.

But in Novem­ber she came back to Penn­syl­va­nia, and the last con­ver­sa­tion she had with him was Christ­mas Day. “You never know,” he said. Area res­i­dents Lizz De­wolfe and Rick Wil­bur or­ga­nized the ben­e­fit to help the fam­ily with an­tic­i­pated ex­penses, and wanted to let the fam­ily know, “We do care.”

Wal­ters re­mains lodged at the Wy­oming County Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity in Tunkhan­nock.

ROBERT L. BAKER / STAFF PHOTO

At a pasta ben­e­fit at Ardee’s Foodrinkery in Falls Twp. are Ha­ley Loren­zen’s fam­ily mem­bers, from left, father Ralph Loren­zen of Cor­bett, Ore.; aunt Traci Dominguez of Hood River, Ore.; and sis­ter Sara Hills and mother Deanna Hills, both of Gre­sham, Ore.

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