Although she wanted to attend Mike's funeral, Laura says she stayed home. "I could tell my parents really didn't want me to go, ... but my friends all went, of course. This was a loss that was huge for all," she says. "It was reported when [the story] first came out in 2000 that he was my boyfriend. But he wasn't my boyfriend. He was just a really close friend of mine."

To this day, Laura regrets that she never spoke with the Douglas family. "Mother and Daddy went because they knew the Douglases. And they went the next day with some mutual friends of mother's and the Douglases," she says. "I don't know if they just then never suggested that I go over because they knew how difficult it would be for me. I thought that it would be difficult for the Douglases that, 'Why would they ever want to see me again?'"

Laura says she never received counseling after the accident. "No one ever suggested that and really no one ever really talked about it," she says. "Even Mother and Daddy didn't talk about it."

Laura and Mike had many mutual friends, and Laura says they remained supportive of her throughout the healing process. "One of the boys who had been a pallbearer at Mike's funeral, one of our good friends, called me right afterward to ask if he could nominate me for the court," she says. "That was a really very sweet sort of [offer of forgiveness.]"


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