In a letter to the “Orinda community,” Marianne Payne is asking other kids who were at the party to tell the police what they know or saw. Also, she’s asking for help in locating her son’s I-phone.
Loudon, a popular student and athlete, collapsed at a party given at the home of a neighbor and fellow rugby teammate. Orinda police say that some 50 to 60 young people—including high school students—were at the party where there was reportedly a keg of beer and bottles of hard liquor available. Loudon was taken to Kaiser hospital in Walnut Creek where he was pronounced dead at about midnight.
The parents of Loudon’s 18-year-old neighbor, who hosted the party, were out of town, police say. That 18-year-old, Patrick Gabrielli, also known as P.J., was arrested on charges of contributing to the delinquency of someone under 18 and furnishing an alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21 years.
Loudon's mother writes:
“To date, only a handful of these people have been willing to come forward and of this handful of people, most are unwilling to share what they know.
If you were at the party and know what happened please do not be silent. If you are a parent or friend of someone at the party and have information about what happened, please come forward. …
If you have any information at all — please contact the Orinda Police.
We need answers. Answers that I am certain are out there.
The truth about what happened must be known. I have to know — we all need to know so that we can learn from this tragedy so that it will never happen again. Joe had more integrity than anyone I know. He was honest and forthright — and always believed in doing the right thing. Joe deserves this justice.”
Payne’s letter raises questions about whether students at the party have been told by their hyper-protective parents—and possibly their parents’ attorneys—to keep quiet.
Parents in high-achieving communities, like Orinda, take pride in their kids’ stellar grades and SAT scores and ability to gain admission to top colleges.
But more important, these parents should take pride in, and emphasize, that their kids show character, step up, take responsibility, and, as Payne says, help police uncover the truth of what happened.