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'I woke up feeling like my soul was finally free': Shasta Groene speaks out following the death of Joseph Duncan

Kidnapping survivor Shasta Groene issued a statement on the death of her kidnapper Joseph Duncan, who abducted her and her brother from their home in 2005.

IDAHO, USA — Shasta Groene, who was kidnapped by serial killer Joseph Duncan in 2005, issued a statement following the death of her kidnapper on Sunday.

Groene said in part:

Yes, Joseph Duncan is gone now. But, it doesn't bring our loved ones back. It doesn't ease the aching pain of moments that they should be there, and they aren't because of the selfishness of one person.

One thing is for sure, he does not exist anymore. Now, we can live our lives knowing that. For so long I have been struggling with hate towards that man. Today, I woke up feeling like my soul was finally free. I hope other people affected by Joseph Duncan were able to wake up feeling the same way.

I wanted to thank everyone who spent countless hours, days, and weeks searching for us, bringing awareness to our situation and praying for us. The continued support for me and my family does not go unnoticed, and for that I am extremely thankful.

For some reason I can't stop thinking about the Anthony Martinez family the last couple days. They were victims as well as my family. As were Carmen Cubias and Sammie Jo White’s family. I just want to reach out to them. If I could, I would hug them all. If I could, I would take all their pain away. I know that me saying that doesn't take their pain away, but I hope they find a little bit of contentment knowing that they are thought about so often and prayed for. I hope they know that there are people in Idaho who know what they are going through, and understand the pain and grief of losing someone so soon and not understanding why or how it could've happened. I will never let Sammie Jo, Carmen or Anthony’s story be forgotten. 

After being diagnosed with terminal brain cancer on March 8, Duncan passed away in an Indiana hospital on Sunday. He was on federal death row at the time of his diagnosis but was expected to die before his death sentence was carried out.

Duncan was convicted of killing four members of a family from Coeur d’Alene in 2005. He kidnapped two children, Shasta and her brother Dylan, from the family’s home and tortured them in Lolo National Forest in Montana before killing the boy.

Credit: Shasta Groene
Shasta Groene and her father, Steve after Shasta was found

Shasta was the only survivor of the rampage and was rescued when she was eight years old when Duncan stopped at a restaurant in Coeur d'Alene and the staff recognized the girl.

In 2015, ten years after her rescue, Groene told her story of survival to KTVB during an in-depth interview. You can watch the full interview here:

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