On the day before what would have been Kim Pisaturo’s 20th birthday, the cross from her memorial on Warwick Avenue is still missing.
Bobbie-Jo Pisaturo, Kim’s mother, learned that the teak cross was missing from the corner of Warwick Avenue and Pilgrim Parkway last Wednesday. A close friend drives by the site every day and informed her it was gone.
“Her birthday is September 11,” said Bobbie-Jo. “It just kills me that it won’t be there.”
Bobbie-Jo called the Warwick Medical Walk-In Room to find out what they knew because the memorial is located outside of that facility. She was told that someone on the staff noticed the cross was missing Tuesday, Sept. 3.
Bobbie-Jo was told by the staff at the clinic that all employees are under strict orders not to touch the cross, any other part of the memorial, or anything else left at the site such as flowers.
The memorial has been in place since Kim’s death on May 1, 2009. She was struck by a school bus while crossing the street on her way to school that morning. It was reported that Kim may have been wearing headphones and looking down at her phone so she did not hear the car horn or see the bus before the accident.
The teak cross was designed and handmade by a close friend of the Pisaturo family. Bobbie-Jo had a brass medallion featuring two dragonflies specially made for the center of the cross. The medallion also features the words “In Loving Memory of Kim Pisaturo, Once A Patriot, Always A Patriot.”
“That cross was made specially for her with a lot of love,” said Bobbie-Jo.
After speaking with the staff at the clinic, Bobbie-Jo placed a call to Pilgrim High School, where Kimberly was a sophomore at the time of her death, and informed Principal Marie Cote the cross had disappeared. She also informed assistant principals Bruce Fairbanks and Pamela Bernardi, guidance counselor Brenda Resendes, and the Pilgrim High School resource officer.
“They are all kind of going to be on the lookout,” said Bobbie-Jo.
Despite her reaction to the incident, Bobbie-Jo admits that she has not called Warwick Police regarding the incident.
“I didn’t know if that was something they would want to bother with,” she said.
It has been almost a week since the cross went missing, and Bobbie Jo has yet to hear any news.
“I will bring flowers and balloons [to the site],” said Bobbie-Jo about her plan to remember Kim on her birthday tomorrow. “I don’t have anything else to put there.”
Even though the accident happened four years ago, Bobbie-Jo says family and friends of Kim still visit the site, especially on her birthday. Because Bobbie-Jo has kept Kim’s ashes, there is no gravesite for loved ones to visit.
“There is no other place they can really go to leave things and think about her,” said Bobbie-Jo, who said she, other close family members and Kim’s closest friends visit the site often. “It’s really a comfort to them.”
Bobbie-Jo said it was likely one day she will create a permanent place for Kim’s ashes, however she just can’t part with them yet.
Bobbie-Jo added that she still couldn’t believe someone would take the cross.
“Everyone in the area knows what happened. I can’t think why anyone, unless it is someone who is oblivious to it [would take the cross],” said Bobbie-Jo. “Everyone in the area really respects it.”
She also believes it had to be intentionally taken because it was very secure and not in disrepair in any way.
“It was not coming down at all,” said Bobbie-Jo. She explained that the cross was screwed to a metal piece of pipe and mounted to the fence with hose clamps. Zip ties were also used down the length of the pipe to secure it to the fence.
Bobbie-Jo is not looking for an explanation or even punishment regarding the incident; she simply wants her daughter’s memorial put back together.
“I don’t care who took it or why they took it; I just want it back,” she said.
Those with any information about Kim’s cross should contact Bobbie-Jo through the “In Loving Memory of Kim Pisaturo Support Group” Facebook Page or call the Warwick Beacon at 732-3100.