MILTON — Family and friends of Betty Sanders Brock Strong — a Milton resident who died Dec. 14, 2016 — gathered Thursday at the Milton Riverwalk for a candlelight vigil to remember Strong one year after her death, and to demand an investigation into its cause.

"At the time of her death, she was alone in the Idaho wilderness..., Amy Belanger, Betty’s daughter, said, adding that family members believed Strong's new husband isolated her from her children. "Betty died one year ago… and the family has been trying to get her death investigated ever since."

During the vigil, family members offered a timeline of events that led to Betty’s death and provided contact information for law enforcement in Florida and Idaho, whom they urged supporters to call and request an investigation. Family members have their suspicions about what happened, and have expressed those to the public, but the Press Gazette cannot print allegations without arrests.

Betty died in an Airstream trailer in Idaho, according to her family. Following her death, she was taken to a hospital in Grangeville, Idaho, and was immediately cremated without an autopsy, because authorities did not suspect foul play. A coroner's report states Betty died of complications from Parkinson’s disease, which her family said she never had.

"She was 75 years old, but healthier and fitter than her adult children...," Amy said. "The family’s appeals for an investigation into her death have been met with apathy by sheriff’s departments in Florida and Idaho."

Betty was a native to Milton and worked for the post office as a carrier for more than 30 years. According to her family, she was well-known and liked by those who lived on her mail routes.

She was the secretary of the Florida Tribe of Cherokee Indians, and Ken Johnson, the tribe’s president, said he remembers Betty as a selfless mother and a kind, positive person.

According to Betty’s daughter, Darlene Belanger, Betty became estranged in the years prior to her death. The last time she saw her mother was in February 2014.

"I knew my mother wouldn’t go that long not communicating with family if she had any choice," Darlene said. "I expected she had passed away before December because I know my mother. She would go through any possible way to let us know she was okay."

Darlene said she and her family have tried to contact Betty's widower, but have received no response. They hope the law enforcement agencies in Santa Rosa County and in Idaho will conduct an investigation.

"If this was a relative of theirs (law enforcement), I’m sure they would be right on it," Darlene said. "We assumed we would have law enforcement in our corner on this, considering how long our family has been here.

"There are a lot of answers that we need; that we deserve… My mother deserves justice..."

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