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Rosemont Girl’s Death Sparks Criticism Of Park District

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ROSEMONT (CBS13) – Local residents were shocked to hear a 13-year-old girl was found murdered in a Rosemont park. Her death has left many parents wondering if the people who run the park did enough to keep it safe.

“In a word, I was ticked,” said Doug Haaland, president of the Rosemont Community Association. “And we would’ve expected to at least show sympathy to the family, if not the community.”

Haaland is demanding answers. Soon after Jessica Funk-Haslam’s murder on the evening of March 5, the sheriff’s office held a meeting with the community, but one important agency was a no-show.

“Everybody was there, but nobody from the park district,” said Haaland.

“Why wasn’t the district at the meeting? I’m not 100 percent sure why the district wasn’t at the meeting,” said Jim Rodems, a Cordova Recreation and Park District representative.

Rodems says no one told the district about the meeting, and admits they haven’t gone out to the community.

“We’re still doing outreach in that area and it continues,” said Rodems.

“If you look at the middle of the field there’s no lighting out there at all,” said Rosemont resident John Seime.

For years, neighbors say they’ve struggled with the park district to listen to their concerns, asking for more lighting, surveillance cameras and more patrols. But the district says they just don’t have the money.

“I’m not buying that. I’m not buying that at all,” said Rosemont resident Emilio.

“It’s been the source of some disappointment for the folks at Rosemont,” said Haaland.

They believe the district continues to ignore their cries even in the face of tragedy.

“We’re kind of feeling like the, you know, the red haired stepchild child at the dinner table,” said Haaland.

The district just put in new sidewalks and upgraded to the bathrooms, but parks says they couldn’t use the money for lighting.

The parks administrator says he was here three weeks ago to survey the park.

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