andrea_faye_willsThe disappearance of Northern Illinois University coed Antinette Keller can't help but bring back the horror, yet again, for Patty Rosenberg.

Twelve years ago, the Batavia woman's daughter was also a freshman — at Eastern Illinois University — when her former boyfriend strangled her with a telephone cord.

Rosenberg remembers like it was yesterday; the call from police that her daughter, Andrea Will, had been killed. The press conferences. The vigils. The arrest, trial, sentencing.

But the nightmare doesn't stop when the headlines do. There are the days that stretch into years that stretch into endless blocks of darkness. It is tragic enough when a child dies because of illness or accident, but when she dies intentionally at the hands of someone else, it's that much more horrible.

Now, add to all that a profound sense of injustice.

In May of 1999, a Coles County judge rejected Justin Boulay's plea of temporary insanity and found him guilty of first-degree murder of Will. The minimum sentence that could have been imposed was 20 years; the maximum, 60.

Boulay got 24 years, and Rosenberg told reporters back then the defendant "got away with murder today. I was shocked more value was put on his life than my daughter's."

Patty Rosenberg was hit again when she realized that because Boulay's sentencing fell between the cracks — Springfield botched the truth-in sentencing-legislation the first time on its way to becoming law in 1998 — he'd only serve 12 years for first-degree murder. And no amount of petitioning on her behalf would change that fact.

Boulay's release date is Nov. 11.

To add insult to injury, only last week she found out that upon his release from prison next month, Boulay will be moving to Hawaii — with his wife, Rachel.

It's hard to ignore the irony, says Coles County State's Attorney Steve Ferguson, who confirmed this information. "I felt so badly about the sentence imposed ... and now this."

It leaves Rosenberg wondering, "When are we going to stop being victimized?"

Even after Boulay confessed to strangling her daughter, the then 21-year-old St. Charles man was put on house arrest and was able to walk the streets of his hometown, where Rosenberg ran into him one day. Also, because Boulay opted for a bench trial, the family had no voice during the process and did not read their victim impact statement.

Her frustration only mounted when she realized there was "absolutely nothing that could be done" to keep her daughter's killer behind bars longer than next month.

"We've never been able to speak out on our daughter's behalf," she says. "I have no voice for Andrea."

The final blow came last week when she was told her daughter's killer will be living on a tropical island with a woman he obviously married while incarcerated.

"I want people to be as outraged as I am," says Rosenberg. "It's the only thing I have."


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