Memorial for motorcyclist killed in crash is continuously destroyed in Surprise
SURPRISE, Ariz. - A family in Surprise is remembering their son Bryce Burgess with a memorial where he was killed in a motorcycle crash, but they're not able to do that in peace because someone keeps destroying it.
Jennifer Newman lost her 19-year-old son two days before Christmas, and over the last two months she's found the memorial site destroyed several times. She's asking whoever is doing this to stop.
"I just want it to stop. At this point, I don't care who it is. Just stop. Just leave it alone. Let us have our spot," the mother said.
The same place Burgess took his last breath is the same place Newman put up his memorial – the northeast corner of Bell Road and Avenue of the Arts.
Map of the area:
"A driver failed to yield at this intersection. He actually took his last breath at this intersection," Newman said. "He has family in Tucson that drive up here just to be in this spot. His friends here, his family here."
When his family or friends show up, the memorial is either gone or destroyed. In the span of more than two months, Newman has replaced the memorial four times.
"Every time I have to pick it back up, it breaks my heart again. I'm not even healed from it. I'll always have a hole in my heart where my child should be. It breaks me even further every time this person does this," she said.
Newman and her daughter even found the candles, teddy bears and flowers inside a dumpster. They took it all out to recreate her son's memorial.
"I think they are probably hoping that I will give up, but this is my child. I protected him in life. I will do the same thing now," the pleading mother said.
Before Newman put up the memorial, she made sure to check with the police department, the city and the shopping center to make sure it was OK. They all gave her approval, and she believes it's an individual targeting the memorial.
If you have any information about this case, you're asked to contact the Surprise Police Department using their online crime reporting system, or by calling 623-222-4000.