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NIGHT AND WATER: At the funeral, the minister asked aloud the question on so many people's minds. On that night when Jo and Michelle and Christe were out on Tampa Bay, praying for their lives, where was God?


 Chaper 2 Haunted

Usually, when someone from Zion Lutheran Church died, the church would call a man who lived nearby and ask him to help with the graves. This man was a member of the congregation; more importantly, he had a backhoe, and opening the graves took him only a few minutes.

But in June of 1989, when they asked him to bring his backhoe for the burial of Jo and Michelle and Christe Rogers, he told them they would have to find someone else this time.

Like so many others in Van Wert County, Ohio, he had known the Rogers family for years. He was one of Hal's best friends -- they had hung out together since elementary school -- and Jo had been like a sister to him. Michelle and Christe had grown up in front of him, playing on his back porch; Christe used to help him load cows.

How could he dig three holes in the ground for them?

"No, I can't," he told the church. "I can't. I can't do that."

Haunted continued  

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