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SEVEN DAYS | april 09-16, 2008 | feature 27A

under trees and lying in the grass. When they reached Stewart Hall, Natalie, Demetrius and Todd lingered out front for a moment before walking around the west side of the building. Then, in a re-enactment of the initial ground search for Nick, they fanned out and began slowly to climb the wooded hillside. After about 90 minutes, Natalie left campus to look after Damon. It was another two-plus hours before Demetrius and Todd returned to Hadley House, where sandwiches were waiting for them in the kitchen. A couple of rooms over, Damon was watching television. As her ex-husband ate, Natalie said her relationship with the Middlebury Police Department had improved significantly in the past several weeks. She talks to Chief Tom Hanley almost every day now, and she says he calls her after issuing press releases to give her additional information. “It’s been a whole lot better,â€? she says. “Quite frankly, what’s done is done at this point. Just help me find my son so I can go home.â€? Hanley is a staunch and increasingly outspoken advocate for his department’s work on the Garza case. Police “can’t take offenseâ€? when a victim’s family registers its frustrations, says Hanley, who has a son in Afghanistan and another who fought in Iraq. “I don’t know from one day to another whether he’s alive or dead or what, so I get that kind of unknowing,â€? he says. Still, Hanley notes that his investigation has been “peerreviewedâ€? by the VSP and the FBI, neither of which has criticized his department. “They got a missing kid, and he’s not been found. I understand,â€? Hanley says. “But — and I don’t bring this up to them — but we didn’t make him go missing. And we’re not magicians. And we didn’t know Nick Garza from a hole in the wall until we got the complaint.â€? Demetrius Garza has closecropped hair, a salt-and-pepper goatee and, even at age 50, the build of a recently retired running back. Seated at the end of the oval table, dressed in cold-weather boots, camouflage pants and an army-green T-shirt stained with sweat from searching for Nick, he talked about how his son’s disappearance has changed his life. Back in Albuquerque, Demetrius said, he’d been “hidingâ€? from the facts. He had no place to hide last week, however — his employer, the Cottonwood Printing Company, was working on the yearbook for Nick’s old school, Albuquerque Academy. While his ex-wife has speculated about what might have happened to her son — she thinks he was injured or killed on his way back to Allen Hall, perhaps while crossing College Street, and his body was removed from campus — Demetri-us says he isn’t entirely ready to give up hope. Meanwhile, he has already committed to heart and memory his final recollection of Nick. “Every time we parted, I held his face in my hands, gave him a kiss on the lips and told him that I love him,â€? Demetrius said, his face twisting in grief. “That’s all the resolve I have right now — that I looked him in the eye and whispered that I loved him.â€? ďż˝

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Seven Days, April 9, 2008  

Why Natalie Garza Won’t Give Up the Seach for Her Son; Breaking Down the Compost Saga; Youngest House Representative Faces an Old Battle; Ea...

Seven Days, April 9, 2008  

Why Natalie Garza Won’t Give Up the Seach for Her Son; Breaking Down the Compost Saga; Youngest House Representative Faces an Old Battle; Ea...

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