Weatherford Democrat

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March 5, 2012

Fund reopened for victim of assault/kidnap

PARKER COUNTY — A year ago Saturday, March 3, 2011, a fire destroyed the home and vehicle of Whitt-resident Lois Pearson, who was abducted, beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured and held captive for 12 days by former neighbor Jeffrey Maxwell.

Those looking to help out now have another opportunity to do so.

A fund for 63-year-old Pearson has been reopened by South Main Church of Christ in Weatherford for those who would like to help Pearson purchase a vehicle to replace the one destroyed in the fire.

About $17,000 contributed last year to what was then called the Jane Doe fund was used several months ago to purchase Pearson a brand new, one-bedroom mobile home where she now lives, according to Loree Ellis of South Main Church of Christ.

“We’re reopening the fund so that people can donate,” Ellis said.

Because she no longer has a vehicle, Pearson still has a need for transportation to and from the store and church.

Donations can be mailed to the church at 133 College Ave. or dropped by at LegacyTexas Bank at 1111 Santa Fe Drive.

Though Pearson attends church elsewhere, South Main Church of Christ stepped up to help after they contacted the sheriff’s office last year and were told many wanted to help but nothing had been set up through a nonprofit.

Donations came in from across North Texas once the fund was set up, Ellis said.

When the time came for Pearson to move last year, they called in favors and purchased the mobile home from a dealer in Springtown at a discounted rate. About a dozen volunteers helped move donated furniture and other items into the house, according to Ellis.

Pearson lost nearly everything she possessed in the fire days after she was abducted. She testified last month that Maxwell told her he wanted to burn the house to get rid of evidence of the kidnapping.

Pearson prayed throughout her 12-day ordeal and called her survival a miracle from God, believing that Maxwell was going to kill her after two weeks.

Maxwell, convicted last month of aggravated kidnapping and two charges of aggravated sexual assault and given three life sentences, was transported to a state jail facility in Huntsville last week.

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