Parents Seek Son's Killer to Forgive Her

PHOTO: Larry and Debi McNamer of Pine Valley, Calif. are searching for Cheryl Garcia, a woman who killed their son in an auto accident, in order to offer their forgiveness.
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This summer will mark 20 years since the night Larry McNamer saw his 15-year-old son's lifeless body after a drunk driver jumped a curb, killing the teen and his friend.

The Pine Valley, Calif., father said he's spent two decades missing his son, Sean.

Now McNamer is looking for the woman who killed his son. Cheryl Garcia was convicted in the boy's death, sentenced to 13 years in prison and has since been released.

If Larry McNamer finds Garcia, he has a message for her: "I forgive you."

READ: Woman Sentenced to Death, Freed After 27 Years, Invited to Go Shopping With Victim's Grandson

McNamer said he reached out to her parole officer in 2000, hoping then to tell Garcia face-to-face that she was forgiven, but he said his offer was rebuffed.

"She told the parole officer, 'I think you guys just want to yell at me and I can't do that," McNamer said. "We understood. That was the last bit of talking that was done."

McNamer, who owns a cafe with his wife, Debi, in Pine Valley, an unincorporated community of San Diego, said they were contacted recently by a production company hoping to make a documentary on forgiveness after losing a child.

The desire to sit down with Garcia had never went away.

"Quite frankly, it would mean everything for my wife and I if we could find her and she would meet with us," McNamer said. "It would help us to turn a page in this."

McNamer and his pal Tyler Cash were killed in an instant on July 31, 1993 as they walked back from a 7-Eleven half a mile from home.

Garcia, who was 27 at the time and was driving drunk when she struck the teens as they were walking on the sidewalk. After the accident, she fled the scene and was arrested hours later, McNamer said.

Since his son's death, the father of four said he's channeled a lot of his energy into speaking on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

"There was a period of time where I wondered, if just on my own, I am ever going to be able to forgive this person," he said. "The more I looked at the whole situation, I realized I didn't hate [Cheryl Garcia]."

Now, 20 years later, McNamer said he just wants the opportunity to tell Garcia in person, even if there is no documentary to capture their meeting.

"I'd tell her, 'Don't let this be a drag on you every day. What you did was wrong, but it doesn't mean you can't be productive," McNamer said.

"I want her to understand that we forgive her and it's OK to go on with life."

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