Officer’s Widow Reflects On Her Loss 1 Year Later

Carol Daniel (@caroldanielKMOX)

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Thirty-three-year-old St. Louis County Police Officer Blake Snyder was shot point-blank and killed one year ago today.

He was responding to a disturbance call in the Affton precinct when he approached the suspect’s car. Investigators believe Trenton Forster pulled out a handgun and shot Snyder in the face.

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Officer Blake Snyder (Credit: St. Louis County Police Department)

His widow, Elizabeth Snyder says, “The last year has been really rough on me and my family, but we’re making it. We’re surviving.”

She tells KMOX it has gotten tougher for her as the one-year anniversary date approached.

“I haven’t really been sleeping well the last two nights because my mind is so full,” Snyder says. “I think about him literally every day, but it’s more as I think about the date and time and everything that happened that morning.”

She says the loss remains very vivid and as difficult as it was then. She received counseling, but isn’t in it right now.

“I believe God is the best counselor, going to his word, reading the Bible and going to church makes me feel better. It’s a comfort,” she says.

How is their son Malachi doing? Snyder says he’s very independent and smart like his dad.

“He just turned 3 last Friday, and he definitely knows it. He’s definitely active, but he’s doing good.”

Snyder had told KMOX her son was asking for Blake in the couple of months after his death. Now, she says he doesn’t ask for his father like he did then.

“I have really – and my whole family  – has instilled in him that Blake, his dad is in heaven with Jesus. So anytime he sees his picture or sees him on TV, he’ll say, ‘Oh there’s daddy, daddy is in heaven with Jesus.'”

Regarding the case against Blake’s accused killer, Snyder says attorneys and investigators are keeping her up-to-date on what’s going on. She plans to attend anything the suspect will be present for.

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Trenton Forster (Credit: St. Louis County Police)

“I want him to know what he did, and know there are people waiting to see what the outcome is.”

She hasn’t seen Forster face-to-face in court, yet, and she doesn’t think there’s a way to prepare herself for that.

“I can mentally tell myself to be strong and ignore certain things, but I don’t think there’s really a way to prepare for that sort of thing,” Snyder says.

The St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office tells KMOX no decision has been made to seek the death penalty at this time.

Does Snyder know what she wants? “I do know what I believe in based on my biblical beliefs. I do have my stance on it, that’s for sure.”

When asked if that means “an eye for an eye,” she replied, “I really don’t want to say right now. Once the prosecutor comes out with what they are deciding, I’ll be more willing to open up about that.”

Snyder says her husband’s death has not caused her to read more about the law, saying it brings up anxiety.

“Before this all happened, I used to watch cop shows, forensic files, but I don’t watch anymore because it bothers me too much.”

So what brings Snyder joy, other than her son and family? She says she has gone back to work, “… which has always been a really big deal in my life. So I’m back at the St. Louis Zoo, which I really love and it’s kind of therapeutic for me. I’m still doing a lot of events for BackStoppers, and I’m also now on the board for Guns ‘N Hoses, and that’s doing a lot. So, I keep myself busy, and that’s important to me.”

Snyder says she leans on her faith and family to get through her loss.

I asked her what message she has for a country that appears to always be reeling from the kind of violence that took her husband: “Love! Love is a big thing, and love covers a multitude of sins. I feel like you have to love your neighbor, and even though they don’t understand where you’re coming from, you can love them through it.”

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