Friday, May 29, 2020

Columnist on the verge of stardom laid to rest

Family, friends mourn what could have been

Candles burning on a dark background

Oxford Weekly Planet columnist Zoe Chase was laid to rest at Oxford Cemetery this morning. Ms. Chase, who was found shot to death on County Road 280 on May 24, is survived by her parents, Howard and Marion Neidelmen of Miami, Florida.

Many of Oxford's writing community, as well as Ms. Chase's colleagues from The Oxford Weekly Planet, attended the funeral.

"It's just terrible," Steven Atwater said. Atwater founded the Oxford Writers Circle and knew Ms. Chase well. "She was on the verge of something big. She could have brought a lot more attention to Oxford's writers, and then something like this happens. It's horrible."

Yoknapatawpha Sheriff's Department is investigating the murder and has not yet released many details. Detectives and other members of the sheriff's department were present at today's service.

The law enforcement presence was scarcely noticed among the hundreds of other mourners in attendance. Choking back tears, Ms. Chase's longtime friend Dani Bonner said the crowd was much larger than she ever expected.

"There are so many people here to remember Zoe," she said. "Some of them, I haven't even met before, but they loved Zoe too."

Many of those paying their respects also offered their help in solving the murder investigation. Mrs. Bonner said she hoped the people of Yoknapatawpha County would band together and help solve the crime.

I know that all of us who were Zoe's friends want to help in any way we can," Mrs. Bonner told Crime Beat. "Hopefully, everyone else will also do whatever they can."

After the interment, a private reception was held at Ms. Chase's home.

By Kemper Jones at 12:40 PM


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