Mandy Lynn Wardrop
19 Years Old

July 11, 1979 to May 6, 1999

First I would like to share a poem with you that my daughter wrote:


It's wondrous what a hug can do!
A hug can cheer you up
When you're feeling blue.
A hug can say, "I love you so"
Or "Gee, I'd hate to see you go."
A hug is welcome back again!
And "great to see you" or
"Where have you been?"
A hug can soothe a small child's pain
And bring a rainbow after the rain.
The Hug!
There's just no doubt about it
We scarcely could survive without it.
A hug delights and warms and charms
It must be why God gave us arms.
Kittens crave them.
Puppies love them.
Heads of state are not above them.
A hug can break the language barrier
And make the dullest day seem better.
No need to fret about your store of them
The more you give
The more there are of them.
So stretch those arms without delay
And give someone a HUG today!

I found this about 10½ months after my daughter was killed. It was like receiving a hug after all those months without. My daughter was a loving person who babysat for several families, so was loved by many children. She clerked at Blockbuster and waitressed at Denny's. She had more friends than we ever realized. She was beautiful inside and out. She was a normal teenager looking forward to an exciting summer and turning 20. She'll forever be 19.


This page is to tell you of the worst tragedy that has ever happened in our lives. We do not know why our daughter was with the men that killed her. She used to work with both, and used to date one of them. She had ended the relationship, and from what we hear he had been stalking her. She never told us about that, but her friends were aware of it. She was in the process of moving and had borrowed a truck. I received a call from the owner of the truck that she hadn't returned it. I wasn't concerned until I found out she had borrowed the truck the day before. I made a few phone calls. (I figured she had a fender bender and would eventually show up to face the consequences). My husband and I sat down to watch the news and they were telling about a young woman left at the side of the road wrapped in a carpet. They also gave a description. I looked at my husband and said, "That sounds like Mandy. I'm going to call." I never expected the outcome. We buried our baby 2 days after Mother's Day. The day of her funeral, the first guy arrested had his arraignment. We came home from the funeral to a message on the answering machine that it would be on the news, and messages from local media. We had never seen these boys before (we've still never seen the 2nd one). It took one year and ten days after her murder for this man to come to trial. The trial lasted four days and the jury reached a verdict in two hours and fifteen minutes. Matthew David Powell was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. On June 13, 2000, he was sentenced to two life without the possibility of parole sentences. God worked justice in our case. We just hope the second boy will get his just deserts soon also. He is still free and he is the one that beat our daughter up before the other one smothered her. I saw the pictures of Mandy when she was found, and I honestly cannot understand how a human being can treat another human being like this. And then to leave her at the side of the road wrapped in a carpet. These men/boys are not human in my book. My daughter would have given the shirt off her back to help people. I used to say to my friends when the kids were growing up and would get in trouble, "Well, I've never raised any angels." Now she is an angel up in heaven and she is at peace. I know nobody can ever hurt her again, but my heart and my arms would give anything to have her back. She was my baby. She was also my friend.

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Mandy Wardrop