Bikers empty their pockets for Idaho girl
STATELINE, Idaho -- Well-wishers arrived on more than 500 Harley-Davidsons and other motorcycles to empty their pockets on behalf of the biker's daughter who survived a horrific abduction.
About 1,000 people attended the six-hour benefit Sunday to aid Shasta Kay Groene, 8. Cash poured into a box at the front door of Cruiser's bar and grill, a biker hangout in this town just east of the Washington state line. Total receipts were not announced.
"I watched one guy walk up, open his wallet and dump everything but $5 into the box," said Prospect Bryce, who guarded the donation box for the Northwest Idaho chapter of the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club. "I've been watching people drop, not small bills but large bills, $100s, $20s."
The girl's father, Steven Vincent Groene, 48, part of the north Idaho biker community, stood at the front of an impromptu receiving line under a hot sun for more than five hours.
"You say bikers and people think of gangs, but these people are the best people in the world," Groene said. "These people step up for anything and everything."
The event was held a day after more than 700 people filled the Real Life Ministries building in nearby Post Falls for a memorial to the girl's brother, Dylan James "D.J." Groene, whose remains were found in a remote area in western Montana.
Their mother, Brenda Kay Groene, 40; an older brother, Slade Vincent Groene, 13, and the mother's boyfriend, Mark Edward McKenzie, 37, were beaten to death late May 15 or early May 16 at the family home east of Coeur d'Alene.
Joseph Edward Duncan III, 42, a convicted sex offender, has been accused of killing the three at the home, abducting the two younger children and later killing Dylan.
Shasta and Duncan were found at a Denny's restaurant in Coeur d'Alene on July 2. Shasta told investigators Duncan sexually assaulted her and Dylan repeatedly, according to prosecutors.
While it is The Associated Press' policy not to identify alleged victims of sexual assault in most cases, the search for Shasta and her brother was so heavily publicized that their names were already widely known.