Labor Day is also Field Day in Sheffield. "The first one I can remember was 1956," said local resident George Scotten. "Its got the same original feeling."
But for many here, the day will never be the same without one of Field Day's biggest boosters -- Pat O'Hagan. "Field Day was the last time I saw her, standing outside the town hall -- and I can still see her standing there, you know," said Dolores Chamberlain, a close friend of O'Hagan.
O'Hagan helped organize Field Day three years ago, but days later the 78 year-old disappeared. Her body was found a few miles away weeks later.
"Anger doesn't help anything," said Walter Smith, who first met O'Hagan at Field Day more than a decade ago. "She was a very special lady in this town," he said. They used to sell raffle tickets together. This time he sells them to her son -- in town for Field Day and not ready to speak on camera.
Frustration is clear among those close to Pat. No one has been charged in her murder. "If they did it, and they know they did it, the system should be able to deal with that," Smith said.
Prosecutors say they know who was involved because of gruesome details about the robbery-turned-murder revealed in federal court. Three suspects are all in jail in separate cases. In June Richard Fletcher was sentenced to 15 years for sexual exploitation of a minor. Prosecutors argued for extra time, saying Fletcher, Michael Norrie and Keith Baird all took part in the murder, but would likely never be charged in connection with O'Hagan's death because of conflicting accounts and lack of evidence.
State police detectives were on hand at Field day, hoping someone will come forward with more information. The Attorney General's office has said there is no statute of limitations on murder charges and will file them when there is a solid case. Walter Smith says that's not good enough. "They're out there saying that's who did it. Well if that's who did it, do something," he said.
The suspects are from the Sheffield area, raising concerns about what will happen if they get out of jail -- because they're facing lesser charges. "So close, its just too close. And it just brings home the fact that you're never escaping anything no matter where you are," Dolores Chamberlain said.
Worries and frustration -- now lingering along with hometown pride -- and fond memories of a favorite resident.
"She gave every day -- whether historical society, field day, quilting -- she gave something to this town every day of her life," Smith said.
Friday, March 7 2014 11:46 AM EST2014-03-07 16:46:45 GMT
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