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The Lake News Online
  • 5K in honor of slain mother sheds light on domestic abuse

  • For one Camdenton man, an upcoming 5K at Linn Creek City Park is about much more than running 3.1 miles, it is about his sister.

    Colby Callahan's sister, Brandi Mathews, was a victim of domestic violence. She went missing in the lake area in September 2006 and her family and friends did not get any answers until years later.
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    • If you go...

      What: Make the Break 5K Run/Walk in memory of Brandi Mathews
      When: September 13
      Time: Registration at 9 a.m. and run/walk at 10 a.m.
      Where: Linn Creek...

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      If you go...

      What: Make the Break 5K Run/Walk in memory of Brandi Mathews

      When: September 13

      Time: Registration at 9 a.m. and run/walk at 10 a.m.

      Where: Linn Creek City Park

      Fee: $25 and $15 for each additional family member

      For participants that raise $100 or more, they will be entered to win the grand prize.

      Pre-register by September 2 to be guaranteed a t-shirt.

      For more information, call CADV at 573-346-9630 or email info@cadv-voc.org.

  • For one Camdenton man, an upcoming 5K at Linn Creek City Park is about much more than running 3.1 miles, it is about his sister. 
    Colby Callahan's sister, Brandi Mathews, was a victim of domestic violence. She went missing in the lake area in September 2006 and her family and friends did not get any answers until years later. 
    At that time, she was believed to have been living in the Eldon/Barnett area while working as a dancer at a gentleman’s club. 
    Before she went missing, according to the Miller County Sheriff's Department, Mathews reported at least six domestic assaults involving Kelly Simino from January through August of 2006 across several law enforcement jurisdictions. During that time period, she was given an ex parte order of protection and assisted investigators from several law enforcement agencies in collecting information against Simino for drug-related crimes. 
    Mathews requested the order of protection in August 2006 in Pettis County, only one month before she was last seen alive. 
    Callahan says he thinks that if Simino would not have been told that she filed the order, his sister may still be alive. 
    In January 2009, a resident walking a dog in an area just outside of Eldon contacted authorities after stumbling upon human remains. The sheriff’s department spent hours searching the area. A skull and teeth were sent to the medial examiner’s office in an attempt to make a positive identification. About a week later, Mathews’ family learned that the remains were a positive match to Brandi. 
    A Laclede County judge sentenced Simino, of Eldon, to 20 years in prison for the 2006 murder of Mathews. The sentence came after a lengthy case that involved the Miller County Sheriff's Department, the Osage Beach Police Department, the Eldon Police Department and the Missouri Attorney General.
    The decapitated skull of Mathews served as the key piece of evidence for the prosecution.
    Now with Simino behind bars, Mathews’ family can finally honor her memory.
    Hosting the walk/run in her honor is a dream come true for Callahan. 
    "It is something I have always wanted to do," he said. "I just didn't know where to start." 
    He approached Citizens Against Domestic Violence (CADV) about hosting the event in her honor and they quickly agreed.
    "People need to understand that it [domestic violence] happens right here in our town," Callahan added. 
    Callahan said that the community support has been tremendous so far. Not only is CADV on board, but other local businesses and organizations are helping provide good, games and silent auction items. 
    Page 2 of 2 - "It is a great feeling that you could not imagine," he said of the outpour of support. 
    This event is also another way for the family to find closure from such a tragic situation. While many in the community remember Mathews for her untimely death, Callahan remembers the fun times with his sister, especially fishing. 
    "She was an outstanding person and would help anybody. She was just in a situation that she could not get out of," he said of his sister. 
    Callahan hopes the 5K could become a yearly event and may even prompt other events like a golf tournament in the future. Ultimately, he would like to have Brandi's Law pass that would help protect individuals that file protection orders against their abusers. 
    Many family and friends plan on traveling from out of town to attend the Make the Break 5K in September. Mathews’ son, who now lives with Callahan, will be in attendance. 

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