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Friends Remember Woman Killed While Neighbors Call For Action


UPDATED: Wednesday October 23, 2013 11:39 PM

Family and friends gathered Wednesday night to remember a mother killed while jogging at Ridgeview Park in Blendon Township.

A picture of Jane Juergens beamed out at the crowd at the vigil.  It seemed fitting because anyone close to Juergens says it matched her demeanor.

"She always had something funny to say, we did nothing but laugh all the time," said friend Kim Kern.

"She was always funny," said co-worker Patti Wolfe.

"She believed that laughter was absolutely the best medicine," said son Andy Juergens.

The vigil to remember Juergens was spotted with laughter but also with tears.  Her son spoke candidly about the bond they shared.

"We finished each other's sentences, we spoke the same way, we talked with our hands,"  said Juergens.

He praised her character.  "My mother was an amazing woman who was passionate about making people and their lives better."

And he spoke about how proud she made him.

"All the loved one's that have shown up today represent how amazing she truly was,"  said Juergens.

Just one mention of the horrible crime that took place and the person suspected of taking Jane Juergens' life.

"In my heart, I know that she would have already forgiven the individual involved.  But, make no mistake, she wouldn't forget about it.  Neither will I and I hope that no one else does,"  said Andy.

The unexpected and unexplainable death still has the crowd reeling.

"I truly can't believe this happened to her, I still can't believe it,"  said Kern.

As the vigil was being held, Blendon Township trustees were also meeting Wednesday night.

Neighbors told trustees more needs to be done to address group homes like the one where Juergen's suspected killer, 16-year-old Jordan Stewart, lived.

"It's a tragedy Jane's dead," said resident John McGuire.  "There are people who have been negligent in their duties managing these kids and the blood's on their hands."

Stewart lived in a nearby group home.  He was a product of children services.  Both were targets of the crowd because neighbors say they've voiced their concerns.

Neighbors say they're angry they have no say in the location of group homes, no say in how they operate and no warning when people with serious backgrounds move in.

"In our humble opinion the world has changed, It's personal," said Blendon Township trustee Stew Flaherty as he motioned to a photo of Juergens.

Flaherty asked residents to let government know they want better group home regulation and to call Franklin County Commissioners and children services in Jane's name.

A spokeswoman for Franklin County Children's Services says they are taking a closer look at procedures.

They're also reaching out to juvenile justice and mental health to collectively do a better job taking care of kids and ensuring the public's safety.

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