Yes, I said it – Ghost Moms. I thought we needed something warm and fuzzy after last week’s Black-Eyed Kids. But these aren’t your usual I-love-my-mom kind of stories. These are when moms go above and beyond the call of duty.
The first story, from Deseret News, is about an experience four Spanish Fork Utah police officers had in March 2015.
On Saturday, around noon, a fisherman spotted a vehicle in the Spanish Fork River. The vehicle was resting on its hood in the frigid waters. When the police arrived, they thought it was just an abandoned vehicle. That is until all four of them heard a voice coming from inside the car calling for help. But when they flipped the vehicle onto its side, they discovered there was no one inside able to speak.
“”The only people in there were the deceased mother and the child,” said officer Bryan Dewitt.
“We’re not exactly sure where that voice came from,” Officer Jared Warner told the Deseret News.
Dewitt was one of the first officers to arrive. The incident was originally reported as a possible abandoned vehicle in the river. But as he got closer, he said he could see the mother inside. Three more officers arrived almost simultaneously at the river.
And that’s when they heard a voice.
“We were down on the car and a distinct voice says, ‘Help me, help me,'” Dewitt recalled.
“It wasn’t just something that was just in our heads. To me it was plain as day cause I remember hearing a voice,” officer Tyler Beddoes said. “I think it was Dewitt who said, ‘We’re trying. We’re trying our best to get in there.’
“How do you explain that? I don’t know,” he said, adding that the voice didn’t sound like a child.
“It was a positive boost for every one of us because I think it pushed us to go harder a little longer. I don’t think that any one of us had intended on flipping a car over that day,” Beddoes said. “We know there was some other help there, getting us where we needed to be.”
When the officers flipped the car onto its side, that’s when they realized that a child was still inside.
“I was terrified there was a little baby,” Dewitt said. “My initial instinct was that she was dead. When we were able to cut her out, pass her out, the first thing I saw was her eyes fluttering. So, it was kind of a positive sign of life for me, at least. But knew she wasn’t out of harm’s way, either.”
After Dewitt discovered the child, firefighters Paul Taultomadakis and Lee Mecham jumped on top of the vehicle.
“Got the door open, and Lee jumped up with me and held the door while I kind of got down inside, grabbed the baby girl, lifted her out of the water and unhooked the car seat,” Taultomadakis said. “Didn’t really think about anything except trying to get her out. Once I got ahold of her, I could tell that she still had some life.”
After Taultomadakis pulled Lily out, the police officers and firefighters started passing her up the hill until she got into Warner’s arms.
“I ended up with the child in my arms and I just ran up the hill and into the ambulance and we drove off, started CPR and anything we could do to just save her,” he said.
Lily was improving Sunday, according to Jill Sanderson, Lily’s aunt.
“She is doing remarkably well considering the circumstance. The doctors have been hopeful so far,” Sanderson said. “We would like to express our appreciation to the Spanish Fork rescue team for saving the baby’s life.”
But as Sanderson and her family were thankful that Lily’s life was saved, they were also mourning Sunday the loss of her mother, Jenny Groesbeck.
“Her baby was the love of her life. She was an amazing mother,” her sister said. “She was very compassionate and a very loving person and always willing to bend over backward for her loved ones.”
And obviously, a little thing like death didn’t prevent her from saving her child.
“In the wee hours of June 10, 1994, Deborah Hoyt awoke with a start. She was staying with her husband at a relative’s home in Sacramento, CA, but felt she must leave immediately. The winding mountain road between Sacramento and the Hoyts’ own home in Lake Tahoe made Deborah uneasy, especially at night, but the urge to leave was overwhelming.
At a section of Highway 50 known as Bullion Bend, near Placerville, Deborah spotted a nude woman lying near the shoulder of the road. The woman was positioned on her side, bent legs together with an arm over her head. She was ghastly pale and looked dead.
Horrified, Deborah and her husband drove to the nearest phone and called the police. Sheriff’s deputy Rich Strasser arrived at the scene but found no trace of a woman, nude or otherwise.
Four days earlier Christene Skubish, 24, and her son Nick, 3, left her parents’ home near Sacramento to embark on a new life. Bound for Southern California, Christene was excited to begin a new job and provide a better life for her son. However, the pair never made it to a friend’s house as planned. The concerned friend eventually phoned Christene’s father who alerted authorities. The police brushed off the report at first, saying Christene and Nick would eventually show up.
Meanwhile, Christene’s aunt began having strange dreams. In one, she was riding in the backseat of a car and saw the silhouette of a woman and a young boy riding up front. It was night, and the car was traveling in a heavily wooded area. In another dream, Christene and Nick stood in a yard as hurricane-force winds whipped leaves from the trees. Christene tried and tried to reach her son, but the howling wind repeatedly pushed her back. The aunt asked Christene if she was okay, but a haunted-looking Christene said no.
The aunt’s dreams had come true in the past, and she was sure something terrible had befallen Christene and Nick. Frightened, she called Christene’s father and then left to look for the missing pair.
Back in Placerville, Deputy Rich Strasser couldn’t forget the report of a nude woman near the road. Deborah Hoyt seemed like a credible witness, and Strasser was certain she’d seen something. After learning about Christene and Nick’s disappearance, Strasser wondered if the two incidents were related. On a hunch, he returned to Bullion Bend to scour the area.
The deputy found nothing out of the ordinary at first, but he soon came across a child’s shoe. After peering into the brush, Strasser spotted a demolished car at the bottom of a 40-foot embankment. He raced to the vehicle and found Christene and Nick inside. Christene was dead, her body fully clothed in the driver’s seat. Nick was curled up nude in the passenger seat, alive, but in critical condition.
Nick ultimately survived his injuries, though he’d gone five days without food or water. Authorities believe Christene fell asleep at the wheel, leading her car to plunge off the highway and roll down the steep embankment. The coroner determined that she’d died upon impact or shortly thereafter.
Though he was only three at the time, Nick says he remembers the accident and the long nights after. He remembers climbing up and down the embankment. He remembers a glowing white light hovering near the mangled vehicle and a shadowy figure standing nearby. He remembers telling his family about the angel that had watched over him.
Christene was fully clothed when Strasser found her, and authorities believe she died soon after the crash. So, who was the naked woman on the roadside? Hoyt believes it was a spirit sent by God to save Nick before it was too late. Christene’s friends and family believe she watched over her son, even after death, appearing as a nude apparition to get the attention of passing motorists.
“I absolutely think something special happened here,” Deputy Strasser said on Paranormal Witness. “I think it is a miracle. It’s a whole series of events that I can’t explain. I’ve often thought about it. I just don’t have the answers.””
I like the idea of moms being able to be Guardian Angels. Because, really, what is a mom but an earthbound guardian angel?