Bringing Haley Home

FALLS TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Police say Haley Lorenzen was murdered by her boyfriend in December and her body dumped into the Susquehanna River. Crews searched relentlessly to find her body, and months later, her body was finally recovered.

State police, firefighters, and dive team members said they wouldn't give up until they found Lorenzen.

At a memorial service Tuesday night, Lorenzen's family was able to thank those first responders, knowing that she will finally be at peace.

Family, friends, and even strangers prayed, thanking a higher power for finally bringing the body of the 24 year old with the bright smile home.

"Being able to bring her home is a gift. We waited a long seven months to bring her home. Now we get to bring her home and not wonder where she is in the river," said Deanna Hills, Haley's mother.

Police say Lorenzen's boyfriend, Phillip Walters, murdered her and dumped her body into the Susquehanna River from a bridge in Falls Township in December. Court papers show he may have been involved in a love triangle.

Lorenzen moved from her hometown in Oregon to live with Walters in Wyoming County. Lorenzen's family says they'll remember her as a bright spot in their lives.

"She knew when I was coming home from work, and she'd have a little note saying, 'Oh dad, I have something in the refrigerator for you special,'" recalled Ralph Lorenzen, Haley's father.

Crews searched for Lorenzen 16 times, but she didn't turn up until a kayaker found her body 20 miles downstream near Plymouth last week.

"We weren't going to give up. In fact, we had a search planned for that Sunday after she was found. There was no way we were giving up," said Chief Gene Dziak, Lake Winola Fire Company.

Lorenzen lived in Wyoming County for just two months before police say she was killed, but she made a lasting impact on the people who live here. Flowers, pictures, and birthday cards were placed on the bridge in her memory.

"They are feeling the pain we're feeling. They are amazing people, and they'll never forget her," Hills said.

"A lot of people love her here, and that warms our hearts," Lorenzen added.

Haley will forever be in the hearts of those here in Wyoming County, but her family still feels a hole in their hearts.

"I know if she would've had the chance, she would have been an amazing mother. An amazing mother," said Hills.

Lorenzen's family will be having a visitation service Wednesday from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Sheldon-Kukuchka Funeral Home in Tunkhannock.

Her body will be brought home to Oregon and her ashes will be spread there.

Walters' homicide trial is scheduled for September.

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