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Troop K Troopers are the BEST!

I’m writing this letter in regard to Cpl. Mary Godino and her partner Trooper Chris Fletcher. And I’m writing it on behalf of my sister and her family.

On May 4, 2006 my nephew David Markel was killed by a reckless driver on the Florida Turnpike. The driver, Jerome Knowels never stopped. He continued his journey as if nothing happened. He left my nephew on the side of the road to die….four hours away from home.

For 19 months Mary Godino worked diligently to bring his killer to justice. She spent countless hours investigating and gathering evidence to bring David’s killer before our justice system. Without her hard work and dedication this man would have gone free! He would never have been identified if it weren’t for Mary & Chris.

He is now serving a thirty year sentence!

It is Troopers like Mary & Chris that dedicate themselves unselfishly to people like us (the victims family), that make the Florida Highway Patrol shine! They have gone the extra mile, took that one more step, and gave it their all! We will forever be grateful to them.

It is Troopers such as they that all troopers should model themselves after. They are selfless and dedicated, not only to their job, but to the public as well. We were complete strangers to Mary and Chris a year ago, but they worked and acted as if they knew David personally. They never refused a single phone call, and they took time to meet with us, and listen to us cry, even when I know they were so busy.

My nephew could have easily been another statistic on the Florida Turnpike, another accident victim, another kid in the wrong place at the wrong time. But through the dedication of your Troopers this man is off the streets and in prison where he belongs.

We owe so much to Mary and Chris. Without them we would still have a lot of unanswered questions to go along with all the pain. Through them we were able to find not only closure, but David’s death was not in vain! This man is behind bars, never to hurt another family.

I can only imagine the awesome responsibility it must be to be a Florida Trooper. To always be in the public eye, under scrutiny by those who are not as dedicated, and with the promise of upholding the law no matter what. Well, I’m here to tell you that Cpl. Mary Godino and Trooper Chris Fletcher wear their uniforms proudly; they give the Florida Highway Patrol a better image. They have gone above and beyond their call of duty and they should be commended on their hard work and dedication as Florida State Troopers. They definitely make the rest of the department shine!

Thank you for taking the time to listen, and know that your Troopers do you PROUD!


Linda C. Antonelli


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