“This threw äRRiel into a total depression — it’s the only way to put it,” Dobie says solemnly. “She went out for a walk on a Wednesday, and I don’t know what happened. She ran into an old friend, an addict . . . Her brothers were out looking for her, everybody was out looking for her, we couldn’t find her.” His voice cracks. “Then Friday morning she sent me a text message saying, ‘Dad, I’m fine, my phone needs to be recharged, I ran into an old friend, I’m very tired, I’ve been up all night.’ And she called me about two o’clock that afternoon: ‘Dad, I’ll see you tonight, I love you.’ I got an anonymous call saying I needed to go to the hospital because something bad had happened to my daughter. I went there and she was ...” Dobie’s voice trails off in a hush.

äRRiel’s ashes sit on Dobie’s desk. “To me, [the site] is more like her living presence,” Dobie admits. “I go there sometimes — well, often — just to be close to her.”

Almost every day, friends still leave äRRiel messages. “We don’t have a gravesite,” explains Marsha St. Claire-Buza, a friend of äRRiel’s from California.  “[The page is] the grave we’re visiting right there.”

“For some of us she knew really well, she really did take a piece of us with her,” says Berrera. Her MySpace profile “is like the piece that she left behind for us.”

There are tributes to äRRiel all over MySpace: forums, posted photos, even an äRRiel fan club formed to cheer her up last March. One of äRRiel’s closest friends, Steve, whose personal page is itself an äRRiel homage, left her a comment on March 7:

I was asked to do an interview on you. I think I’ll pass on it. However, if you are ever curious as to what I would have said....I’ll tell you:
Interviewer: “Tell me about äRRiel”
Me: “She was better than both of us”
That is all.

On the Web:
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com
Larry Dobie's MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/arrielsrolemodel
äRRiel's MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/arriel
äRRiel's online portfolio: http://www.geocities.com/little_sister_shotgun/
Taylor Behl's profile: http://www.myspace.com/doowop
MyDeathSpace: http://mydeathspace.com
MyDeathSpace LiveJournal home: http://community.livejournal.com/myspace_deaths/
Josh Ballard's former home: http://www.myspace.com/jloveb
You're the Man Now, Dog parody site: http://ytmnd.com

Email the author:
Camille Dodero: cdodero@phx.com

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