Tuesday evening, folks cleaned off bleachers and prepped the infield at Davis Field of the Bob Hill Youth Complex. It’s a special place for 42-year old Melanie Pate. She spent a lot of time here supporting her 12-year old son.
“Baseball has been her life,” said Kim Perez, a friend of the victim.
“That’s what Melanie did, baseball every weekend, every night of the week. She lived for her son,” said Cara Fleming, a friend of the victim.
Melanie was a take charge mom who was heavily involved in the Hanford Youth Baseball League. She volunteered to run traveling team tournaments up and down the Central Valley and coast.
“A wonderful mother, a wonderful friend that was always there for you no matter what,” said Fleming.
“She was the firecracker for everybody. You may have not liked what she had to say, but she was going to say it,” said Perez.
At Melanie’s home on Nutmeg Place, candles on the front walk way now flicker in her memory.
Investigators say 50-year old Todd Pate sliced Melanie’s throat then submerged her in their swimming pool where she eventually died. Todd was arrested and is now in the Kings County Jail.
The couple was married 22 years and recently began the process to divorce. Friends had no indication violence like this would ever happen.
“They were both still cordial,” said Fleming.
“It’s just unimaginable. It just seems so unreal,” said Perez.
Melanie’s tragic loss will likely inspire something new as the community plans to one day dedicate a permanent memorial bearing her name.
“There will be something here for Melanie. Guaranteed,” said Fleming.
The vigil takes place at the Bob Hill Youth Complex at 8:30 Wednesday night. The community is asked to wear black and orange clothing to represent the Grizzlies little league teams.
You can either bring your own candle or purchase one here. All money raised goes directly to Melanie’s son.
If you cannot not make the event and would still like to help, visit any E.E.C.U. branch and tell the bank employee you would like to donate to the Melanie Pate Memorial Fund.
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