Slain officer’s daughter on quest for justice: ‘It’s been a really long, drawn-out process’

State News

NEWPORT, Ark. – Wednesday (June 12) marks two years since Newport police Lt. Patrick Weatherford was shot and killed while showing up to a call.

It happened near a city park, and it was a day full of chaos that Weatherford’s daughter, Kaitlyn, still finds unbelievable.

 “It’s really all a blur just because of how traumatizing it was,” Kaitlyn Weatherford says via a video chat interview.

She remembers getting the call and rushing to Newport from Jonesboro.

“By the time I got there, he had just passed.”

Since the tragedy, Kaitlyn says she has been doing her best to keep up with arrests and court dates while awaiting justice for her father.

“It’s been a really long, drawn-out process, and it’s been horrible because I was so close to my Dad, and losing him the way that I did, it’s just been a complete nightmare,” Kaitlyn says.

Photos she shared reveal a glimpse at the bond she has with her Dad.

Pictures show the two while Kaitlyn was an infant, another photo shows Kaitlyn and Patrick on the baseball field and then years later at Kaitlyn’s high school graduation.

“I don’t know, I mean, me and my Dad — we just always had a tight-knit relationship, and he’s always been there for me,” Kaitlyn says.

She says he would want her to keep moving forward, bypassing the tears and grief that somehow find a way to re-surface every year around this time.

“So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m just trying to make him proud,” Kaitlyn says.

“He’s still my world. I love him so much, and I always will.”

The suspect in Lt. Weatherford’s murder, Derrick Heard, is expected to stand trial for murder later this year.

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