Northern New York Newspapers
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Tue., Oct. 6
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Justice For Garrett motorcycle ride raises $7.5K


CANTON— Nearly 200 motorcyclists lifted their kick stands and rode 130 miles on Saturday before reaching their final stop at Garrett J. Phillips’ grave.

Brian A. Phillips, uncle of the slain 12-year-old, said “the best thing we could have done” was to conclude the ride at Chapel Hill Cemetery in Parishville.

“It was a pretty touching moment for a lot of people that went,” Mr. Phillips said. “Yes, the ride was for Garrett, but when you don’t go there you’re really not putting a visual in your mind.”

The ride added $7,595 to the Justice for Garrett reward fund, which is offered in exchange for information leading to the killer’s arrest. In total, including more than $1,100 raised by the third annual law enforcement softball tournament in Ogdensburg on Aug. 18 and a $500 donation by the family of late Ogdensburg Police Department Sergeant Kevin Fee, just under $38,000 has been collected since early June.

Garrett was a sixth-grader at A.A. Kingston Middle School when neighbors reported hearing screams and cries for help at North Country Manor Apartments, 100 Market Street, on Oct. 24.

He was found strangled at the apartment and pronounced dead at Canton-Potsdam Hospital that evening.

Police have remained largely silent about the investigation and declined comment on Tuesday. St. Lawrence County District Attorney Nicole M. Duvé could not be reached for comment.

The only news came in January, when Oral “Nick” Hillary, men’s head soccer coach at Clarkson University, filed a notice of claim against the village of Potsdam, charging that he had been wrongfully named a suspect in the investigation.

In less than two months, one year will have passed since the killing, While Mr. Phillips has admitted frustration, he remains convinced the investigation is moving forward and hasn’t considered hiring a private investigator.

“When I feel that they are doing nothing but leaving it on the desk and waiting for the mysterious person to speak, then I would say it’s time to do something different,” he said.

In the meantime, there’s the reward fund and events like Saturday’s, he said, which included live music, a meal and a raffle at Parishville Hall.

“The ride was absolutely great,” Mr. Phillips said. “There were no problems and everybody seemed to have a good time.”

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