I was NOT wanting to live anymore. The photos are ALL that we have to keep Kris’ memory alive. She is a beautiful young lady.
By Kim Snyder
In 2003, my family and I began a journey, one that we have tried to walk through with grace and dignity.
We received a horrific call- that my ONLY sister, Kristin Marie Snyder, was missing and could NOT be found, in Anchorage, Alaska, where she had lived since 2000.
My father, Capt. Robert E. Snyder, and my mother, Jonnie Snyder, had walked down the dirt road behind our house on February 5, 2003.
My father had just said, “how well things were going.” That Kris and I were enjoying our lives, and things were on an even keel.
Satan had a plan to destroy that, and he did!!!!!
On February 6, 2003, the worst call in the world came: Kris was gone, and would NOT be found.
Mom, dad and I boarded a plane for Alaska. Once there, all HELL broke loose, with total confusion- where Kris might have gone, and why.
Through all of this, God had a plan, Satan would NOT prevail.
There were searches for days, air, land, sea, and mountains. Kris was nowhere to be found; she was totally gone. We as a family, began the grieving process, NEVER crumbling under pressure. We stood strong together, with God bearing us on “Eagles’ Wings.”
We witnessed, even quietly- NOT saying anything to anybody.
Kris’ presence was with us. I felt that her death was a homicide, but could NOT prove it. I still haven’t been able to prove anything.
As the journey ended in Anchorage, I realized a chapter of my life was ending, a chapter I loved and cared about, would NEVER see again.
My heart was breaking within me. I was so tired, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. I was drained. When I heard we were going home, it was the best sound in the world. We landed in Florence, SC, near home and I wanted to kiss the ground.
Once we arrived in Dillon, I was caught in the arms of my pastor, tears began to fall. I was realizing that Kris was truly gone. The house was filled with people, but that is NOT what I needed.
My pastor told me, “go and take a hot bath, and come back and talk to people”. I did just that.
Satan had a plan for me, to take me out. I was in the tub, alone, without my ONLY sister, I would be totally alone without her, when mom and dad were gone. All of a sudden, I heard Satan say, “take your own life, no one will care, you don’t matter”.
I immediately recognized Satan’s voice. I jumped out of the tub, got dressed, and ran to my pastor for help. He helped me with the loving and understanding arms of the scriptures, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”.
My dad’s brother and his wife arrived from Iowa. He got my attention right off the bat.
I was told, “I would have to do everything for mom and dad, that they would NOT be able to do things.” I was told to “grow up quickly”.
At that point, my life was spinning out of control. I was told that I needed Jesus, to help do everything.
My point was, “God had taken my ONLY sister, why should I trust God?”
I was shown, John 3:16- “For God so loved the world…”. I began trying that. It did get me through the darkest days of my life, the masses, the memorials, visits, etc.
As we prepared for Kris’ funeral and public memorials, I found out, “if I stay busy, I will NOT have to think about what is going on”.
I did that from moment one. It seemed to be a fog, I was ignoring the inner pain, but it was getting deeper and deeper. I would cry on my own; if someone appeared to speak to us, I would try and put a happy face to cover my pain.
I was so dependent on others to get me through from day to day- to keep me going. Satan was winning, the anger was growing, and I had NO place to take it out. I had to figure that out on my own. I did.
“My yoke is easy and my burden is light’. I had to go and hide and cry and release the anger and everything that was bottled up inside me. I released my emotions away from mom and dad.
I was desperate for a way out of my life, of HELL. I had a razor in the bathroom. I was going to cut the heck out of my arms but then I had a revelation, “who is going to help with their funerals? Is there more to do in this life?”
I left the bathroom, got my pastor to get me help with my anxiety and depression. I began my medicine-and it began to help. I was seeing new things.
I got busy for mom and dad. What was that? Taking in flowers, food, memorials, etc. I was making sure that everyone signed in, then, came a hurdle that I did NOT want to help with.
My uncle grabbed me and said, “you have to grow up and be an adult”.
I wanted to know what I was going to have to do next. What I heard was the worst thing in the world.
My uncle said, “it is time to prepare for Kris’ funeral.” You are going to have to go and work with the funeral home, get the supplies that you need- the sign-in books, but at that point, I had already made a home made sign-in book. I wanted that one- but my uncle said, “no, that is NOT real”.
So I went to Cooper funeral home, near our home, and started talking to those folks. All of a sudden, the smell of funeral flowers, the room spray, the overall smells overtook me. I ran out, crying, throwing up. I was sick as a dog.
The casket room door was open. I could NOT imagine that I was going to have to put my sister in one of those. My thought was, “I should have gone first, because Kris could have taken care of mom and dad in their old age. Why was this happening? Who did this to her?”
Seventeen years later, I am still having to ask that same question.
The funeral home, trying to be very compassionate, loving, they were also asking me, in their own way, to “grow up and do what you are capable of doing for your parents and family”.
That thought was quickly kicked out, I was ALONE!!!!!! That feeling has lasted for 17 years.
Upon arrival at home, after the meeting at the funeral home, I returned home. There were so many people, I wanted to run.
I didn’t want to talk to anybody, but I forced myself to stay in the kitchen, and be in my own corner. As long as I was busy, I was okay.
The minute I found out Kris’ funeral mass was set, I was sick all over again. Mom and I went to the church, set up, we were alone- the cross before me, the world behind me. The cross was hanging in the church with Jesus’ arms spread wide open. I could NOT look at it right then, I was so angry at God, for taking my ONLY sister. I watched mom set up Kris’ photos for the funeral, and the flowers, she was so strong, I wanted to be her. We left the church.
I got home, had to take a shower, I smelled like the funeral home again. I couldn’t stand it. It made me sick to my stomach.
That night, was Kris’ funeral mass- at 6:00 pm. We left the house for Kris’ mass. As I looked out of the funeral home car windows- I saw other people going about their lives……wanting to be anywhere but that funeral car.
The closer we came to the church, I was sick again. I saw the hearse- that said it all…..I was in so much pain, my heart was breaking, I knew Kris’ body was NOT in that hearse, but it was nevertheless “finality.”
Death had me by the throat. I was in such bad shape already, the question was, can I endure this? Will I endure this?
Benny and Deborah Cooper, from the funeral home, ushered us, as a family, into the church. I was stuck in the middle of mom and dad- they sobbed the whole time, like we did in Anchorage. I couldn’t look at either mom and dad. During the service, I tuned it all out- it was more than I could handle. I was in my own bubble- alone, sad and depressed. I cried during the whole service-it was miserable being there- and knowing, the quiet was destroying me.
As mass ended, dad invited people back to the house-to eat with us, but actually, I knew about that plan, it just hit me harder to look at him crying and red-eyed.
As the mass ended, I told mom and dad I wanted to ride backward in the other funeral home car. I sent my Uncle with mom and dad, because dad and his brother look so much alike. I could NOT handle seeing my dad or my uncle at that time.
I just wanted to be “free” for a minute. As we neared home, there were so many people there, I finally lost it in front of people- but it didn’t matter- I was releasing anger and desperation.
Kris and I didn’t begin to really bond until the end of her life. I visited her, she challenged me to be like her. We hiked, bicycles, walked, did dinner together, camped out, etc. She actually wrote my parents an email while I was visiting her, and said I was meeting every challenge face to face. Said she was very proud of me. I was loving being the younger sister. I wanted to be her, so many times!!!!!
On that fateful Saturday, before Kris disappeared, while I was living in Marion County, SC, I received a desperate call from Kris.
She talked about my future, what I would do with it. She was NOT usually a talker, but that Saturday she was.
At the end of the conversation, she did something very strange. Kris was a tomboy, she would NOT often say “ I love you”. On this day, Kris kept saying, “I love you, I love you, I really, really love you.”.
I beat myself up- so many times, that I did NOT hear that cry for help. I know now, that Keith Raniere did something to her, or if he didn’t- he had someone to do with it.
I have wanted “Justice” for her. It has NOT happened.
On the day of the public memorial, we took the flowers to the cemetery. I knew I couldn’t tell Kris that I got her killers put In jail- it still hasn’t happened. Almost 17 years of the “guru” being free to do what he wanted to do.
Kris did NOT deserve what happened to her. I have wanted relief, the pain has been so bad, that all that I wanted, was to be out of pain.
The funeral was over, but I still had to see people. I was so tired that I surrendered to Jesus. I had to. I just want answers to Kris’ death, and why she had to die.
My family and I have been accused of so many allegations, abuse, killing my sister. Those things are very painful- but I can’t let those things eat away at me.
I wanted to be Kris- why? She was tall, blonde, blue-eyed, and a real “beauty”. She was in a beauty pageant, representing “Ms. Junior Ms. 1989- Dillon High School”.
Being in Anchorage, things were NOT adding up. It did NOT become real that Kris was dead. It became “real” for me seeing the hearse at the church!
Kris is a beautiful, tall, blonde young woman, who needs to be remembered, for her all of the things she did. The sad thing is, my son will NEVER be able to meet his Aunt Kris- but he hears us talk about her.
I have to continue to try to get justice for Kris.
We want to know what happened- we know Kris is in heaven- I need Justice for her- someone needs to talk- they all need to tell what happened to Kris- we deserve closure.
That by the Grace of God, He saved me, and it is Grace by God that will lead me home to heaven- to see Kris and dad again