Michelle's Packard’s family couldn’t bear to be in Lansing tonight on the anniversary of her death.
“It's still unreal. It's still hard to believe that I haven't spoken to my sister in an entire year.”
This year, Elyse and her family went up north for the fourth rather than stay here and re-live the tragic events of last year when her sister Michelle was hit in the head by a stray bullet at Adado Riverfront Park, just before the fireworks started.
“Because you decided to celebrate, we are devastated.”
And the devastation didn't end there. One bullet cost two lives when Michelle’s fiance, Wes Thomas, took his own life this may after the pain become too much.
“They were, you know, as people say, the yin to the yang, it was an amazing thing to watch, so it was hard to see him go through so much pain afterwards, and we're going to miss both of them.”
Police still don't who fired the shot that caused all this heartache, but it could have been as far as a mile away.
“It doesn't just go into space, it has to find an end point. And unfortunately, that day it was my sister.”
But the memory of the 34-year-old MSU doctoral candidate lives on. The university is continuing her research and as the cheerleading Spartans cheerleading coach, Elyse is especially proud of that.
“I am a cheerleader at heart, but my sister was always my cheerleader. And she would support me in anything I ever did, so I just have to keep doing that, and letting people know about her, and not let anyone forget who she is. And that makes me smile, 'cause I still love her. She's still my sister.”