Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 4, 2012

Community assists three children who lost mother to murder

Community assists three children who lost mother to murder

Niagara Gazette — Loretta Jo Gates' three children sent their mom a giant balloon the other day.

The youngest, Peter, 4, seemed to get a kick out of helping to release the string, but the two older girls had written messages to their mom and taped them to the triple heart-shaped balloon. Mariah, 5, wrote "I love you," in the careful precision of a new kindergartener. Kyla, 11, didn't let anyone see what she had written before taping her message to the balloon. Moments later the trio stood at the edge of a backyard patio and released the balloon into the autumn sky, watching as it made its way up toward Heaven where they believe their mother to be.

To a visitor listening to family members share stories about the 30-year-old Niagara Falls woman who was recently brutally murdered, it is clear that Gates may not have been with her kids as much as they might have liked. But, like many children born to imperfect mothers, they simply loved the mother they had.  Despite what family members described as her efforts to battle a drug habit, the children just miss the mom that they knew. 

Scott Martin, father of the youngest two of her three children, knows about addiction. His drug of choice was alcohol, and when Loretta went into rehab a couple years ago and he had custody, the two were taken from him after he was charged with drunken driving. Martin was able to have custody restored after he successfully completed a Family and Childrens Services program that fortifies parenting skills. A Gazette story detailed his success. Martin has been sober, he says proudly, since then. 

Loretta was not always so successful finding peace and sobriety. She was working to stay clean at the time of her death, according to Martin. And, regardless of her challenges, she still touched the hearts of many she left behind. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results