The mother of a Middleburg High School senior who was killed 10 years ago is speaking about her daughter’s death.
Elaine Conley’s hope is to help other families experiencing loss and grief.
Pointing to photos of her only child, Cami Conley, on the wall in her living room, Elaine Conley said Wednesday: “She was involved in many different things.”
“Oh, my God, a ball of light, a lightning bolt. This girl was so involved. Cami, over all of her school years, she did so much. She was so involved in so many school activities,” Elaine Conley told News4Jax. “She was on track at Middleburg High. She started the first anime club at Middleburg. She was fun, moody and emotional. She didn’t take flack from anyone.”
Cami Conley was 18 years old when she was gunned down on May 12, 2011, outside her home on Belladonna Street in Middleburg.
“Cami was murdered by an angry parent by another student at our home in Middleburg, Florida, in 2011,” Elaine Conley said. “Her very last Facebook post, around midnight that morning, stated she had something she had to do, that a friend might be in trouble, and the next day, she is dead because she thought that person was a true friend. She thought she was doing something to help these people, and in effect, it cost her life.”
Court documents state the shooter was Enrique Primm. Several hours after Cami Conley was killed, Primm was found dead behind his home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Elaine Conley said she never harvested any ill-will toward him.
“To carry that anger and hatred would even be more devastating on me. He and his higher power worked that out,” Elaine Conley said.
She said that a decade later, “I managed to find peace and become a better person.”
Elaine Conly has a message for parents also experiencing loss and grief.
“They are not going to know this now, but someone down the line, there will be something good to come out of it,” she said
Elaine Conley also has a message for the family of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey, who was killed last weekend.
“I want her mom and her family to know that I know and absolutely understand the grief, the loss, the anger, the rage,” she said. “I understand that right now they are going through waves of emotion -- up and down and back and forth. This is not an easy thing to deal with.”
It should be noted that Conley was arrested and charged with first-degree attempted murder and child abuse in 2009. She accepted a plea deal and served more than four years in prison (one year was served in Clay County jail). She completed five years of probation upon release.
Conley was incarcerated at the time of her daughter’s murder.
She has since been open about her mental health issues. Conley acknowledges the mistakes she made as a parent and said she is a changed person and wanted to share a message of hope for families faced with adversity.