Amidst the candy, fire trucks and floats of the Price City International Days parade Saturday morning, a much smaller parade started in southern Price with a very different goal in mind.
Heidi Jones-Asay, the daughter of the late Loretta Jones who was brutally murdered 46 years ago in July of 1970, was approached by her husband with the idea of honoring her mother with a tribute motorcycle ride. Promising his wife the luxury of simply being able to go on the ride, Jones-Asay accepted.
Thus, Saturday morning on the 46th anniversary of Loretta Jones’ death, five bikers and a friend who followed in his white vehicle rode through Price, past the home where Loretta Jones’ life was taken, and on to other destinations throughout the state, celebrating Jones and the life she lived.
After leaving Price, the group visited Duchesne and Heber where they met another rider from Salt Lake. After Heber the group made their way to Springville where one of the original five left the party. After Springville, the riders made it to Fairview and eventually to Elmo for a candlelight vigil at Jones’ grave.
Throughout the ride, Jones-Asay was able to find others with whom to share her story and found support from those in her path.
“It’s amazing,” she said after the ride, “the support you get not only from this little Carbon County community but from other people in the state.”
Upon pulling into the cemetery, Jones-Asay was greeted with family and friends who had come to support her and her journey in finding justice for her mother, some of whom she had not seen in years.
“Back then the community was shocked by this horrific event,” Jones-Asay explained. “And now I have the support of everyone in almost everywhere in going forward and finding justice for my mom.”
“It was amazing because through the whole ride there was a special spirit with us,” she further stated. “It was just felt all day and it wasn’t in a sad way. It was a spirit full of love and appreciation and I like to think that was my mom with us.”
For this daughter, however, the ride was not the end of her journey. Jones-Asay remains hopeful that next year will find a similar gathering. A gathering, though, for the 47th anniversary of a mother’s death and not merely the bleak anniversary of a cold case awaiting the warmth of justice.
“I know, deep in my heart, she’s so incredibly proud,” Jones-Asay said in regards to her mother. “Because I was four, and she somehow instilled in that four-year-old little girl: never give up.”
“I won’t give up,” she asserted. “I’m getting justice for her.”