Memorial Fund Created by Friends and Neighbors of the Keefe’s

July 3, 2016 (POTRERO) Friends and family of Jim and Kyrie Keefe, who died during the the Border Fire, have created a fund to memorilize tehir friends. They have also created a Gofundme account, that you can contribute to. The fund was started by Leann Mitsui, one of the women who found them, and Nicole Botticelli. This fund is to help raise the funds to lay them to rest and help Jim’s sister to get to San Diego to make arrangements.

The page says in part:

Our names are Leann Mitsui and Nicole Botticelli and we are writing in support of our neighbors and friends, Jim Keefe and Kyrie who were found deceased by four volunteers this morning, June 29th at 8am due to the Border Fires here in Potrero. The volunteers went around deputies, hiked across a neighboring property to reach a hillside behind the Keefe home, and found the bodies huddled together amid some rocks. We and other residents had been asking the Sheriff’s Department for about a week to look for the couple and were met with resistance. Deputies told us to stay off the property, and that they couldn’t do a welfare check because they weren’t “invited.”

The Keefe’s went missing on or around June 19, when the fire flashed over the property. One of their dogs was rescued by Animal Control and Joe Little of Channel 10. Now the rest of the dogs are with animal control, and will need good forever homes.

The neighbors have told Reporting San Diego that the Sherriffs ignored their pleas for help, starting as early as the Sunday after the fire flashed over. But we also know neighbors started to take care of the dogs almost immediately.

It was a volunteer search party that found the bodies on the 29. We are asking questions from the Sheriff’s Office, about the whole incident. It raises multiple concerns, and has made the relationship between law enforcement and the community quite tense.

Maureen Mazeen, Jim’s sister, posted a thank you note on the Campo community page on Facebook:

I messaged yesterday to some of you that the coroner’s office confirmed Kyrie’s identity after searching through Jimmy’s and her belongings. They were in fact married. So that is good news. Now they have to try to locate her family in Canada for notification and inquire as to her family’s wishes. My preference would be to lay them to rest together…As for all of the issues with law enforcement and community officials surrounding all of this, again, I am at a disadvantage. I see all of your posts as to how this was handled and all I can say at this point is keep up the good fight. My hope is for a better and faster response in the future for your community.

Lastly and by no means least, thank you so much for your kindness, love and support through all of this. Patrick and I are forever in your debt. We would also like for all of you to take a moment for yourselves. For those of you who feel you should have done something sooner, don’t waste time or emotion with that. You all did what you could when you could. In Jimmy’s words “peace, love and light.”

There will be a celebration of life on the 10th at the property, held by their friends and neighbors.

Edited for clarity.

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