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Elk Grove Grandmother Pushes For Lifting Time Limit On Roadside Memorials

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ELK GROVE (CBS13) – After the deadly crash comes a sign of what’s lost – a memorial for the victim.

Now, there are new questions over how long those memorials should be allowed on public property.

A grandmother is on a memorial mission to change one city’s law.

Elk Grove has a rule that roadside memorials can only be up for 30 days, but one grandmother is doing everything she can to change that.

Jackson Walden was killed by a hit-and-run driver in March at a crosswalk on Elk Grove Boulevard.

Five months later his grandmother Dixie Lester can’t stop thinking about him.

“Every minute,” Lester said she.

After several months, the memorial erected in his honor disappeared.

“I got on the phone to call Elk Grove city to see where it went,” said Lester.

City workers took it down after someone complained.

Elk Grove leaders say they understand the need for families to grieve, but “the city felt it necessary to establish a timeframe for that grievance period,” said Andrew Keys with the city of Elk Grove.

“Well, I don’t think there’s a time limit in grieving, period,” said Lester.

There’s a new memorial now, but not just to remember Walden.

“It has to do with who did this. There’s a person running around our town right now knowing that he did it,” said Lester.

The hope is the memorial will serve as a reminder that the person responsible is still out there, somewhere.

“Guilt is something that eats you up,” said Lester.

The grandmother on a mission isn’t one to get emotional.

“I don’t cry, and I won’t until I find the person,” said Lester.

But passion and emotion collided just before asking City Council for a change in the law and a chance to help catch whoever killed Walden.

“I would like to see it stay there until we find the person who did this,” said Lester.

The city has put the question out on its Facebook page, asking if the law should be changed from 30 days, but Wednesday night the City Council said the law would not be changed.

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