Enraged screams: Turmoil preceded train track fatality

Around 8pm February 11, Emily Bolden was outside her Albemarle County house beside the original Woolen Mills, gathering sticks to make a fire when she heard screams to the east. A woman's screams. Not frightened screams, but screams about hating God, says Bolden. 

Twenty minutes later, Bolden heard the screams again: "Fire is the only way to go," she says she heard.

A visiting friend told her the woman was in Bolden's yard, that he recognized her from the Downtown Mall, and that she was homeless, says Bolden.

And then she heard a knock on the door. "She said her name was Kimberly," says Bolden. "She said she'd been attacked." Bolden offered to call the police. "She didn't want me to call the police," says the young woman. "I was really freaked out."

"I didn't open the door," says Bolden. "I was afraid. She was screaming like she was possessed by the devil or high on meth. So angry. So haunting."

Bolden's yard borders the train tracks, and a nearby trestle carries the tracks over Moore's Creek. Now she wonders if the woman was the victim of that night's train fatality.

At 8:50pm, the first emergency call came from a Buckingham Branch engineer in the area of Luck Stone on Richmond Road, according to Albemarle Fire and Rescue Chief Dan Eggleston.

The emergency message noted, "train vs. a pedestrian" and described a female between 40 and 50. Then more chillingly, "Trying to find her."

"There were access problems for us," says Eggleston. "They had to hike in quite a ways. The scene wasn't cleared up until around one o'clock."

Eggleston says he doesn't know exactly where the woman was hit, and rescuers moved from the Luck Stone quarry on Richmond Road to searching from Martha Jefferson Hospital on Pantops, which is less than half a mile from Bolden's house.

"It seems like very unusual circumstances," says Eggleston. "There are very few cases here of pedestrians hit by a train. It's just odd."

At press time, police have identified the victim as 18-year-old Kimberly Welch, with no fixed address. Her body has been taken to the Medical Examiner in Richmond, and police ask anyone with additional information to contact Detective Morris at 972-4177.

60 comments

WOW One woman who claims she has been attacked knocks on another womans door but she won't open the door nor does she call the police? You have a deranged woman at your door who says she was attacked and you don't call the police? really? You really? have to wonder how this would have turned out if only one woman had helped another maybe the woman in need of help would still be alive. The police should have been called for two reasons firstly a woman says she was attacked. Dos you have a deranged woman screaming and yelling on your property and when she knock at your door you are too fearful to open the door. How tragic that she attempted to get help but the woman who could have helped was too scared to act.

yeah she could have been the next victom to get killed as well. girl was a friend of mine so untill you know who it was just dont put your nose in it. you didnt know her like us here do. she was hit by a train. not killed by an attacker.. furthermore why didnt kim want the woman to call the police? kinda like finding a dollar on your windshield step out to get it and your car is stolen by the person you cant see behind u

yeah she could have been the next person to get killed as well. girl was a friend of mine so untill you know who it was just dont put your nose in it. you didnt know her like we do here. she was hit by a train. not killed by an attacker.. furthermore why didnt kim want the woman to call the police? kinda like finding a dollar on your windshield step out to get it and your car is stolen by the person you cant see behind the car waiting.

Easy for a person to say what they would of done without being there. In this world, even a young person can harm you or even take your life. Get Real.

to SAMB, i strongly agree. idk if you knew who she was but thanks for making the person realize.

Ohh you can bet I would have called the cops no matter what a deranged woman who claims she was attacked asks me not to call the cops well she is obviously not in her right mind so let's do the right thing and call the police. You don't even have to open the door or put yourself in danger just call the cops because you have someone on your property yelling and screaming and saying they were attacked. Buncha cowards. Get Real.

This is pathetic, she didn't do anything to help A YOUNG 18 YEAR OLD GIRL!!! I Knew her, and I know she wouldn't have hurt anybody, she just happen to have a unbalanced mind, (we all do to different extremes). I just hope people understand that she was a young girl with aspirations and dreams, she just happen to be lost in this world of bad influences. I would either have called the cops because of the situation or considering I was friend of hers let her in my house to calm her down and speak to her and get information on EXACLY what happened. Yeah this world is cruel, but as you can see, it is because people just DO NOT care anymore.... maybe its just in my head and its a fantasy, but I understand being in bad situations where I wished someone could comfort me or at least helped. Life can be so traumatic, and there is no fault on anybody, maybe this was suppose to happen, so that we are aware what to do in future cases... :,(

Why couldn't Ms Bolden simply picked up her phone and dialed 911? It takes all of 30 seconds to report a disturbance. You don't have to get involved if you're scared, just let the police sort it out.

"Turmoil" occurs fairly regularly in that immediate area. Some of it is caused by a few members of the homeless population, but much of it comes from the use of the old power plant building as a party spot for kids. To get there, the kids have to walk over the trestle, which is very dangerous. I often see cars drop off large groups of people at the RR crossing there, and sometimes there are little kids with them. The owner is aware of this and lets people use his property and trash it. Perhaps he doesn't understand the concept of liability, or doesn't think it applies to him. It's only a matter of time before something bad happens, and everybody will cry about what a tragedy it is. It's really hard for rescue workers to access that location and for police to investigate. They have to stop the trains and carry injured people out on a stretcher.

Unfortunately, Ms. Bolden is now painted as the villain in this opera. Too bad. The lesson for her is clear--and should be learned by everyone who is not a public spokesperson: Do not speak to the press at all. You do not need the 15 minutes of fame; you are only helping sell newspapers. But some people just cannot zip it when a microphone or notepad is shoved in their faces.

Having said that, I would have certainly called 911. Simple barometer here boys and girls: If Kimberly were your daughter and said she was attacked, would you want a resident, in the safety of their own home, to call for help?

R.I.P.: Kitty Genovese

1) so..we assume that just because she "had problems" that she couldn't have actually been attacked?
2) and because she " has problems". We don't ask her WHO attacked her?
3) we don't call the police because we are " afraid" of her because she is not being rational? How many victims of attacks do you know to be " rational" following at attack?
4)we don't call the cops when someone is in obvious full fledged crisis? Attacked or not.
5) is this 2013? Or am I in a nightmare of a time warp?
6) with the way people keep coming up missing, particularly those of early college age..and murdered In and around cville and albemarle county.. Particularly in and around the railroad tracks/ stations..you would think that there would be more of a concern to find out what actually happened to her especially seeing how they cannot even recollect where she was hit and the fact as well that they had to hike "that far" to get to her. Also 18 yes old is a far cry from 40 or 50 yrs old.
When are you people gonna wake the hell up over there?! Stop being blind..stop acting dismissive and stupid over there! Get up off ya asses and stop assuming that all this is fine and will eventually go away on its own! Because it won't. The fact that you don't help at all is the very reason this keeps happening! Just because Kimberly " has problems" didn't mean she was not actually attacked..and it didn't mean that something worse wasn't going on than delusions.
Morgan Harrington..Dashad " Sage" , and now Kimberly may very well have been attacked..all three of them near train stations or tracks..2 of them dead..one still missing..and not a soul thinks any of it coincidental?? Here is more for you..
Morgan Harrington, severely intoxicated = vulnerability
Sage ,black/ transgendered, with unknown people= vulnerability
Kimberly, severely mentally ill, homeless=vulnerability
This topic is about Kimberly and Kimberly alone, I'm merely pointing out coincidences that are a bit to evident to ignore.
It is rather frustrating to see people that turn a blind eye to what is going on in cville.
I will not engage in further discussion about the previous cases I mentioned above,
I'm just saying, don't underestimate that this girl may have been attacked. You don't just discount that just because she suffered a severe mental illness. I promise you it was highly more likely that she was actually attacked.

No Ms. Bolden is not painted as the villain. The truth be told she could have acted with empathy and a concerned homeowner and called the cops. Not the villain just someone who had a troubled girl knocking on her door saying she was attacked but did nothing but hide.
R.I.P. Kimberly Welch

The lesson for Ms. Bolden and anyone is not don't talk to the press. The lesson should be to call the cops when you have a girl 18 yelling and screaming and knocking on your door saying she has been attacked. Sounds like a no brainer to me but well their you go. Only a coward would give the moral of the story as don't talk to the press... How about help out your fellow man everyone goes crazy at least once in their life.
R.I.P. Compassion, human kindness and understanding.

@Really...please also read the second paragraph of my post. And read the posts themselves; the majority of the folks posting are clearly chastising Bolden for her inactions. Again, this is two-pronged: why someone who went so far out of their way to ignore a girl's pleas for help but was only too pleased to spout off to the press.

I feel bad for both Bolden (if she has a heart), for she may be second-guessing herself for life and, moreso, for Welch. But I stand by my advice: do not talk to the press.

R.I.P.: Ted Knight

theres something fishhy about this story. I do beileve she was eather on drugs or seriously attacked. I wanna know why this woamen said she was on meth & didnt just say drugs? Has she done meth? Does she know what it does to you and how u act on it. I personally knew kim. She knew my whole family. Yes she had some minor issues but i dont see her harming anybody. She was a cutter & do pills. But she also didnt have the easyest life. I wish the boden woamen just would have took the time to call the police & maybe prevented this death. RIP kim you where a bright girl . I hope you are in a happier place now. & next time when someone says they have been attacked someone will take it serious & call the police !

It would seem that Kim was indeed attacked or raped. The train engineer said that Kim commited suicide by remaining on the tracks and walking stright into the oncoming train several miles from where she was yelling.

i do beileve she was attacked or raped but why would she kill herself? After asking boden for help why would she just walk into the train? I beileve she was headed to handout at that old building and was attackeed & maybe even pushed infront the train. I just dont see kim walking into the train & taking herlife thats not kim !

I just talked to kim on friday i just dont understand why she did it rest in peace kim

It is every bit of 2.5+ miles between the residence and the call from Buckingham branch..and only 50 minutes between the both areas. I don't see this as just a simple suicide. If Kimberly was as irrational as is being told by the Bolden woman..than I don't see how on earth she made it 2.5+ miles away in 50 minutes. Not without having been driven there. If she was walking towards that train.. Then by seeing the people that knew her best posting here..I would say she likely was drugged.. Placed on the tracks..woke up to the sound of the train..and walked thinking it would stop for her..could very well have been her second attempt at getting someone to help her. Regardless..I truly do not believe for one second she might not have encountered this person going around taking, hurting, or claiming the lives of the young people of cville. Only someone associated to the railroad system would know who is hanging around quarries, tracks, and stations. It'd be a good idea for FBI to have a look into that. Its no secret one was left near Red Hill Quarry..this one found near Luck Stone Quarry. Even if it has nothing whatsoever to do with the RR..and nothing to do with the Quarries..it definitely has something to do with someone near them.

Again, the train engineer says that she remained in the tracks and walked straight into the oncoming train, with no one else around her.

The average human casually walks at 3.1 miles per hour. So 2.5 miles in 50 minutes is easy.

A young lady with relatives nearby but also lots of present and past pain in her life who apparently could have just been raped could very easily just give into rage and pain and decide to end it all.

Kim, you were always happy when I saw you. I was the one who helped you around Fluvanna high in 9th grade. I helped you find classes and helped you make friends. One point when you were homeless I let you come over at about 1am so you wouldn't be sleeping outside. You always helped me when I was depressed and when I needed a friend when I had no one else to care for me. I will always remember your gorgeous face smiling at me when you saw me. I miss you girly.
With love
Rebecca Herring<3

Also, if it was more help that Kim was looking for along the tracks (theory) then from looking at Google Maps it can be seen that the next place to find help along the tracks (from Bolden's place) was at the houses by the 1st Church of the Nazarene where the papers say the impact occured nearby.

Yen. In theory, she wouldn't have recognized where she was to know which direction to walk, other than to know where the train was coming from. I do not believe this was a suicide. For someone whom is not disoriented walking 3 miles in an hour would be nothing. Walking 2 miles in one hour for someone wandering around irrational begging for help from an attacker? No, she was looking FOR help, FOR people to help her. To run away from help/ people is to say whoever attacked her was still trying to get to her. Clearly on here you see people posting that she knew she could go to for help, she clearly would have gone to them. Clearly she felt she couldn't get tothem. And ends up 2+ miles away. I will not be so passive as to think that someone was not involved. You believe what ya want. I'm not about to believe it was anything more than dressed up suicide. Whether anyone wants to believe it can happen or not is up to them. I don't think she wanted to die, someone who is screaming for help ( to survive from her attacker) sure doesn't sound like someone that wanted to die to me.

I knew Kim as well. She was so smart with an extreme amount of energy. There's no way in hell That she killed herself. Let's be real there's just no way that that would have happened whatsoever At least if you knew her. What I don't understand is the fact that it's obvious reading her Facebook page that she would ever ever ever kill herself. For anybody to say that she could even possibly kill herself does not know her. She was somebody that was on drugs but she somebody that knows common sense. While being on drugs she knows that the train was coming at her or not if she was high at the time or not. I certainly would say that there is a big difference between a 40 to 50 year old at 18. she look like a kid look at her pictures on facebook. I certainly say she was killed and thats just my personal opinion.

I want to say to the folks posting here that knew Kim that I am sorry for your loss and my heart is with you. I did not know Kim, so I mean no disrespect in speaking as if I did. I can't understand why the Holden woman clearly states Kim to be a "young girl", and the engineer described her to be between 40 or 50 years old. They both saw her closely enough to know. She was begging for help from her attacker to the Bolden woman, begging to be saved. Yet according to the engineer walks straight into a train 2 miles away and only 50min later. Was the train heading into cville or away from cville? Just nothing seems right about this, I hope they don't just dismiss this as suicide. My heart is with you.

i dont know how mentaly ill she was.i would say she had problems in life for sure.i can honestly say i do believe she would have just stood on the tracks and dared the train to hit her.i got to know her a bit back in the summer and know she done some strange things for sure.

*Bolden* not Holden, for some reason my auto correct does not want to accept the word Bolden.

Larry, you don't have to be mentally ill to commit suicide. If indeed Kim was raped or something while also in her time of dealing with the past and present pains of her life then just about anyone who felt alone, confused about her childhood, and just a mountain of uncertainty about life itself could have simply been pushed over the edge emotionally in one single irrational evening.

"imeanseriously", not to argue with you but your theories here seem to dismiss the information thus far taken to be true. The train's "driver" said he saw her remain on the tracks and walk straight into the oncoming train. It was this engineer's conclusion that she was commiting suicide because she clearly knew the train was coming and even after seeing it she still kept walking right at it instead of getting off the tracks. Also the train was apparently traveling at a decent speed since it started breaking before it hit Kim and took all the way to the quarry to stop. So with a moving traing and a bright headlight, I seriously doubt the engineer was having the ideal conditions to sum up Kim's age. That's not hard to understand.

According to the papers the train was coming from the direction of Orange, etc. and in the direction of Bolden's place.

So I can see the possible order of events described by freinds, Boden and the train engineer:

Kim had a hard childhood. She had been in trouble with the police several times. She was in and out of living with family and had just chosen to go the homeless route again. Some say she had messed with a few drugs here and there.

So picture someone with all that pain and confusion from the past and the present getting attacked or raped that night. Kind of explains the screams of anger at God, etc. I can imagine Bolden's house may have been the first place Kim saw after the attack. The fact that Kim had been in trouble with the law herself many times kind of explains why she possibly may not have wanted them called. I can imagine she just wanted some kind of help without rationally even knowing what exactly she needed (she needed the police too even if she didn't want them). I can easily imagine that she was at that moment just filled to the brim with rage, hurt, confusion, and depression.

So then if we guess that Kim wanted to go to the next house for help she should have gone the opposite way along the tracks. Does anyone know if Kim was familiar with that section of track? So since for whatever reason Kim went the way she did (away houses she could see) then either she may have though there would be more around the corner or she just wanted to run or calm down to think.

It is easy to guess that the tracks were just a liad-out path to follow, especially if there was not much moonlight. So the way she went ended up being the loney way on the track because it went into a curve into the wood for a couple of miles. Perhaps that distance was more than what Kim though she would have to walk or run to see more houses. While in a rage, one is not exactly going to backtrack. They might just keep going. And Kim did. She was almost at the next cluster of houses when she heard the train coming.

By then, after being attacked, not getting help, and having two miles to feel all her emotions in the dark alone, could expain why she just decideded at that moment to face down the train. (But her screams before would seem to show that suicide was already on her mind right after being raped or attacked.)

I do logic in another poster's comment that it must be a railroad employee, or quarry employee, etc. At face value, it would seem that another homeless person from the park attacked Kim. I hear that's where they hang out -- just a little ways away from Bolden's house.

I do not see how the train's driver could be wrong about Kim continuing to walk straight into the train even after she heard it, the horn, and saw the lights. I can understand how it would be hard to judge somone's age while flying towards them with bight lights.

I just hope they catch Kim's attacker. Hopefully the detective read Bolden's remarks and met.

Yen, I don't particularly care about her past..it had completely nothing to do with the events that happened that night. I will agree to disagree as you continuously miss my point. One who begs to live does not do what she did..if she walked the two tressles there was ample opportunity to have aimlessly jumped off either..and an interstate relatively close and a major highway even closer. if nothing else at all, I am at least hoping they think to run DNA, for any possible leads to other possible attackers. Maybe people should stop using mentally ill peoples medical history against them as if it were a credit report, because it simply has nothing to do with what she may have been going through that lead up to what happened to her and it bothers me to no end to see people doing that. You picked one negative comment out of several positive ones regarding the type of person she was, in which that individual had only met Kim this past summer, and had also only hung out with her briefly, and yet you still take his word over the rest, mixed that with her mental health history to assume this was simply a suicide. This is redundant, and I still feel as though this was no suicide, and I do believe she was attacked and that she was not "daring" the train to hit her, but more like thought it would stop for her and misperceived how close and how fast the train was moving. I believe she was put there as opposed to walking there. I really hope they will look further into this incident. Its all too easy to make a murder appear as a suicide and its more common than people might think.

Yen, where do you get that anything as anyone said was true besides the call into EMS regarding the report that the train had hit her? What the engineer has told is so conflicting with what Bolden said, that nothing is verified as being " true". What the engineer says must not be taken as etched in stone, and no more so for Bolden. Nothing matches, even Eggleston reports this as "very odd". Using Kim's mental health history is not only ridiculous but it also has not one thing to do with what took place that night. You can't take one negative comment among the many positive ones, especially when those ones were by folks whom knew Kim for a much longer time frame, mix it with her mental health history and run with it as if to say, " oh well, I'm sorry for your loss but it was bound to happen one day". As if her life meant nothing because she was homeless and troubled. I do believe she was attacked, I do believe she was placed two miles away on those tracks..I do believe I know what is wrong with this that I cannot say here. And it is plain as day right in this article. I just cannot believe no one sees it!

@ imeanseriously,

I am not sure why you claim that I said Kim had mental illness. In my last post I politely disagreed with Larry who implied that Kim had some level of mental illness. I do NOT think she was mentally ill.

Nothing the news said that Bolden said or the train engineer said conflict except the guess as to her age but that is understandable.

Unless you are accusing the train guy of doing it, I don't see how it is rational to just disregard the report that the engineer said he saw her ahead of the train and she just kept walking on the tracks straight into it.

And everyone knows that mega-ton trains can't stop on a dime -- it can take over a mile to stop a train after the breaks are first applied.

You can't commit suicide by jumping off those trestles -- not effectively anyway.

BOTTOM LINE: We all hope the cops catch the person who attacked this young lady near the park a couple of miles from where she died. God bless those that cared for her.

Yen,
No, I am not accusing the train guy, and I am not accusing anyone in specific as there is very little details specifically of where precisely she came from, or where specifically attacked at. Unless you are privileged to information no one else has, then I'm really not sure how you gather she was attacked near a park.
I am bold enough to say that something eerie is going on around the quarries and train tracks in cville. That's about all I got left to say on the matter.

my thoughts go out to her friends and family (wherever they are - foster or real)

i truely hope that the landowner along the tracks in that part of town, wise up. they should fortify their properties and the railroad should work with them to make that part of town better. there is no reason that homeless should know of cville as homeless alley - except we have tolerated it as tax paying citizens. please learn from kim's horrible situation - i know if i still lived in the Woolen Mills, I would try and motivate the businesses along the track to take proper steps going fwd.

Since some of you are having a discussion trying to figure out or solve what happened that night, here is yet another article out there (link below). This one makes more sense. Says that the incident occured where the tracks cross the river, which is close to Bolden's house. Also says the train was going the other direction (unlike the intial reports), which also makes more sense in terms of the train coming to a stop near the quarry.

If the woman was on the railroad bridge when the train was coming then maybe she could not get out of the way?

http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/article_73f00ea2-74c9-11e2-bc40-001a4b...

Take it easy on Bolden and remember that people acting erratically-- either from drugs or mental illness or both-- have chewed off people's faces and even killed. I'm sure the whole tragic event was very frightening for all involved.

All the more reason to have called the police. Taking it easy on Bolden would be equivalent to saying its OK to not call the police when someone is in full blown crisis especially having not taken into consideration whether she was indeed attacked or not. Regardless you do not turn your back on someone screaming for help whether on drugs, mentally ill or both. Bolden was not in danger for her life on the other side of a locked door. Calling the police could have made the difference of her being alive today. Her getting her face eaten off by someone screaming for help? Seriously? Her chances of winning the lottery 3 times in a row were greater. Please get a little educated about substance abuse and/ or mental health before making such comments. Those who are educated in these things know how to not let such thinking get in the way of helping someone.

no mater what the only two that know what happen was her and god the family is going though alot and all these stupid comments dont make any sense let it be a beautiful bright young girl lost her life and the family is trying to cope with it let it be what if it was one of yalls child

@bowhunter1, in answer to your question.

Even hell itself wouldn't stop me from holding Bolden responsible for turning her back on my child and not helping her. I wouldn't have cared if she needed to have her put in jail or put in the hospital as long as she did something.
I would never hold someone accountable that did all they could to help, even if it meant charges pressed. People need to be held accountable for what they didn't do especially if it results in bodily harm or death.
I am glad she did not let her in the house..i do think her safety was just as important but I still believe she should have called the police whether Kim wanted her to or not. Unfortunately now her family has to now suffer because of Bolden making the choice to not help at all. Its just very sad.

imeanseriously?: Perhaps you want to hold people responsible for not helping a person (ie Seinfeld finale) but you can't. The girl asked that she not call the police. Bolden obviously thought she was helping the girl by not calling the police and having her arrested. How many people will not even answer the door with people like you threatening and passing harsh judgment? It was a judgment call in a stressful panic type situation. She didn't tell this girl to walk on the trestle. The girl was breaking the law being on the trestle when she was hit. I know this trestle. There is no place to go when a train comes except a drop to the ground that is long. Ms. Bolden had nothing to do with this young woman's decision to go across it. Bolden was not a doctor - she had no idea what was wrong with the girl, she might have thought perhaps she was simply very upset. The young woman requested that police not be called. The woman respected her request. Ms Bolden's biggest mistake was talking to the media, because the hindsight of commenters is always 20-20, isn't it?

I feel very sorry for the family of this girl, but if we follow your line of thinking, perhaps we should blame them for not having her hospitalized - then she wouldn't have been knocking on a door that night, nor have been on the bridge. That sounds fairly ridiculous, doesn't it.? You don't blame the family and you don't blame a stranger who was unfortunate enough to answer her door that night. The family has to suffer because of their daughter's poor choices, not a stranger's decision to do what she asked.

When a tragic event occurs it is all too easy and common for the community to point fingers. To blame the victims and bystanders rather than exploring the root of the issue. What happened to this poor girl is a terrible accident. It is a tragedy. It is no ones fault. And by choosing to emotionally persecute a bystander (who was bold enough to at least speak up about her interaction that night) no one will find any answers or solace. Shame on those of you who judge, how dare you be so arrogant as to assume you have the answers or that you know how you would have responded to this situation. You lack empathy. Should she have called the police or ambulance? Maybe. Would that have changed anything? Maybe. Was hers the only house this girl went to that night? Maybe. Maybe these nasty rants from the community have instead kept others from coming forward with details that could help this investigation. There is no definitive answer. Right and wrong aren't black and white, As someone else stated hindsight is 20/20 and in no way shape or form do I believe that either of the women involved in that interaction with one another had any concept of how far reaching the impact of those moments were. Both women were terrified. Both were victims of fate and circumstance. We've been trained not to let strangers into your house at night! Distraught woman or not, countless sources ( police officers included) have drilled this safety measure into our heads. Any manner of things could have happened!! home invaders often send women and children to the door because people let their guard down for them. In a split second she made the decision many many people would have made. To err on the side of caution, to offer help and to accept the decision this girl made not to want law enforcement involved. These posts are ignoring the real issues here and instead some people seem much more content to make a scapegoat of a sweet thoughtful and kind spirited woman who was simply caught off guard when tragedy literally knocked on her door.

Why isn't this a candid discussion of mental healthcare, drug addiction and the homelessness that results from both of these issues? Why did this girl not feel comfortable calling the police? Why isn't a potential drug problem being discussed as a mental health issue? These two things are not mutually exclusive. Most users are self medicating. And I am by NO MEANS attributing this exclusively to drugs, just suggesting it as a possibility. Why wasn't this girl being cared for? What put her there that day? How did she fall through the cracks? And if there was in fact a sexual assault (a common occurrence in women who are both homeless and mentally ill/addicted) where is the perpetrator? Why isn't that at the forefront of this? The safety of other women could be at stake. So many events led this girls soul to where it was that night. And it's no one persons fault what happened to her. This is an example of many failures and shortcomings in our legal and social welfare systems. This is an example of a parents worst nightmare. Of a lost girl. Of the sad state of society that we would condemn a woman for making a choice we've never been faced with.

In closing a few cliches to take into account. Something about withholding judgement before walking a mile in another's moccasins. And be kinder than necessary, everyone you meet is fighting some battle. You can't imagine the multitude of emotions that "Bolden" is feeling. She isn't without remorse. She will deal with this for a long time. Perhaps as a community we should be looking how to prevent future events like this and give solace to those who felt this loss. Rather than pointing fingers and spewing wasted words of irrational contempt onto internet news boards. Reach out.

Thoughtful, thank you. I just want to add something to my comment. Although the young woman made poor choices, no one except she can know why she made them. Everyone has made a poor choice at one time or another. I did not mean to leave my comment intimating that she was to blame for her death. As you said, this was an accident. having tragic consequences.

I wish there was a way to stop people from getting to this trestle because it is too tempting a way to cross the river there. Perhaps it is time to tear down the old building on the other side that is a hang out for drug users, but they would still use the trestle to get to where they camp. It seems various areas on the railroad tracks are home to too many groups of homeless all around Charlottesville and Albemarle. I wish I had an answer to give help to those who will not go to shelters or ask for help from authorities. They want to be on their own, yet obviously when they are, accidents and violence follow. Sometimes it seems that the free will we must allow is the very thing that hinders the help they so desperately need. What can we do in that situation?

Today and Thoughtful: How dare you judge me for expressing that Bolden do the RIGHT thing to begin with! She knew something was wrong, Kim was screaming she had been attacked. what about that wouldn't send off enough of an alarm to have called the police to let them take over the situation. If Bolden was panicked as you state..even more reason to call police even against her wishes. I just cannot see how you turn this around on me, as if I am the one doing wrong when I know for a fact I would have called the police.

Wow. How dare I judge you? That is sad. “. . . judge you for expressing that Bolden do the RIGHT thing to begin with?” How do you know what the right thing was to do in this situation? You did quite a good job of judging this woman. You seem to think that you are the only one who knows what is right in this instance. This was a tragic situation, but blaming Ms. Bolden for not having this poor unfortunate young woman arrested without knowing the details of whole encounter is shortsighted at best. She had a decision to make. People can panic over having to ride in an elevator, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should call the police about it. We do not know how this young woman reacted when Ms. Bolden said she would call the police. Ms Bolden could have been begged not to. Ms. Bolden was in a stressful situation, we don’t know how Welch reacted when told Ms Bolden was calling the police, and Ms. Bolden could have been showing compassion by not calling police because the young woman obviously didn’t want the police involved.

Turn it around on you? What does this mean? You were stating Ms Bolden was “responsible” for not ‘having her put in jail.” You stated “people” needed to be held “accountable for what they didn’t do especially if it results in bodily harm or death.” You stated Welch’s family would “suffer because of Bolden making the choice not to help at all.” But you don’t know the full details of happened in that encounter. Ms. Bolden could have considered not calling the police as helpful to Ms. Welch. You did not merely state you would have called the police. You judged what Ms Bolden did. If you weren’t there how can you cast a definite judgment like that?

We share a difference of opinion. I don’t understand the accusation that someone is turning anything around on you. Certainly no one is blaming you for what you might have done in this situation. But neither should Ms Bolden be blamed. This is not just a black and white situation. There are shades of gray. We don’t know all the details that led to her decision to not call the police. This was a tragedy for everyone involved.

My condolences to Ms. Welch’s family.

I think Emily made the right call. She is an innocent bystander in this. All you dissenters need to wake up.

BECAUSE I WORK IN CRISIS! That is how I know. You judge me for judging what she should have done. Not only a double standard, but I hereby nominate you as Saint of the year. To me: to not help someone in dire need despite them not wanting it, may very well have made the difference between life as and death. You keep making excuses for Bolden all you want too.That is the problem, and no..this does not pertain to just Bolden either, the problem is that no one, reaches put to help each other anymore. And people die because of it and instead of doing something as simple as picking up the phone and calling the police, we try to justifyar why she didn't. This is futile, and explains to me why cville has the issue it does. Because everyone seems to think its OK to abandon people or neglect them no matter how ill , drugged, drunken, different, or vulnerable they may be. I'm sorry you cannot understand my point of view regarding this matter. I refuse to be passive about someone dying because someone didn't make that call. I'm donr

Whatever "I WORK IN CRISIS!" means, I certainly hope it isn't as a professional and I pity any poor person in crisis who has to deal with imeanseriously in any capacity.

An innocent bystander that could have helped save another womans life by just picking up the phone that is. She did not make the right call. She should have made a call to the cops. Instead she MADE A CHOICE not to help. Her boyfriend who was visiting also made the choice not to help. Cowering inside your home while a 18 yo girl screams and says she's been attacked. How these two sleep at night is beyond me. How people can say that she is innocent and made the right call is unfathomable. Gutless cowards you are the real dissenters who need to wake up.

Thank you really? Finally someone gets it! We see it as someone having the opportunity to have done something that would likely resorted in this girl being alive today, yet we are the ones in the wrong? I just don't get that. @not buying it..let's hope you never have to go to someone's door screaming for help in fear for your life only to have the person on the other side do nothing. I think I would rather have someone call the cops on me than to just ignore my screams, whether I asked them not to call the cops..I still would have rather faced the consequences of arrest/hospitalization and been able to have the chance to start anew then to have lost my life, not realizing there may have been healing or a better life for myself out there somewhere. Perhaps even the chance to see justice for having been attacked. You just don't get it. That is the difference. What Bolden was facing with this girl from every aspect spoke very loudly and very clearly that it warranted a call to the police. I realize she can't change those things now. And that is what frustrates me most. That a girl lost her life. That is a very serious thing to me. Those thatdeal with crisis swe and empathize with the one who was lost. So fine, degrade me if that is what makes you feel better. I don't care. I care for the victim. The one who does not get to come back because someone chose not to help her. As I said before, I don't criticize her for not having opened the door. However, I do feel she should have called the police and if she had then Kim likely would be alive today because of it. Its not to say she would have been happy with that choice, I look at it as better to be disappointed and/ or embarrassed than dead. I'm sorry that you folks have a problem with that..it is what it is.

imeanseriously?: Ms. Welch left the Bolden property, so how would we know it is likely police could have helped her? Obviously, if she asked Ms Bolden not to call police, she knew Bolden intended to at one point and probably was afraid she would. Ms. Welch left after the police were mentioned. The Woolen Mills area has lots of places to hide. What were the police to do when the person who was attacked was no longer there, obviously unwilling to make a complaint and she left because she did not want police involved? How do we know that she didn't get on that trestle because she was afraid of being arrested? No one is saying you're wrong for what you would have done. I would probably have done it as well. But we don't know the whole story, nor do we know it would have turned out differently with police responding, since Ms Welch left the premises. Further, it would probably have taken some time for police to respond, possibly not before she was on her way to that trestle. We just don't know. That's why I wouldn't judge her - because I don't know all the facts and neither does anyone else here.

Degrade you if that makes us feel better? This is a board for comments on a subject. People disagree. I am not trying to degrade you by disagreeing with you. I'm not attacking you by disagreeing. I'm just disagreeing with your opinion. However, if you claim to have some sort of credentials that support your opinion, you can't really reinforce your claim to those credentials on an anonymous message board and it is unfortunate, but sometimes that invites comments to the contrary.

@ today, fair enough. My credentials are, I am a severely mentally ill person, I have seen my fair share of crisis situations, I also am a trained and certified Crisis intervention Speaker, I also run anxiety and bipolar support groups, I also am board member to 2 human rights committies, one local and one state, I also am a board member to a mental health organization. I've been to two crisis intervention conferences one state and one international. I've received numerous awards in the mental health programs, boards and committees I serve on, I also serve on a behavioral advisory committee. I serve also on a cross mapping systems that deals with the mental health in combination with the judicial system for our area. I also serve as a member to our stat es mental health coalition. I even go as far as legislation to aid in proactive measures in mental health funding and laws.
It is safe to say I have both enough experience and education in the matter of dealing with one whom suffers either mental illness or substance abuse crisis as well as how to handle situations regarding such things.
I take it very seriously, as any of the people I work with would.
I cannot be passive nor dismissive of the fact that the police were not called in this incident.
I had an incident here where a gentleman approached my car in a pharmacy parking lot, and tried to get into the back seat of my car..broad daylight. I still to this day am not exactly sure how I did not drag him down the road as he had ahold of the handle when I took off. I drove to my house and in full fledged shaking mode I called the police whom sent police officers to my house, they took down his description and as they were speaking to me had police officers combing the area of the pharmacy and for a mile around. The Captain of the PD is a good friend, but was not working that day and when I saw him again I told him of the incident, he didn't tell me I had wasted their time, he didn't tell me I shouldn't have called, instead he thanked me and said not many would call, and that is how things become devastating. He had a very concerned look on his face and said, I'm glad you called because we need him off our streets that is not acceptable. I implore you folks to not feel like you are wasting the officers time. Give them the best description you can, how you are feeling and what their goals and thoughts are, are two different things. What happened to me is not in comparison to Kim's situation by no means, its just that where you may feel you are inconviencing an officer or perhaps the victim always err on the side of caution and make that call. They HAVE to respond to any 911 call. If they think she is eluding or hiding from them they will not stop until they found her, all Bolden had to tell them was that she felt she might harm herself or someone else or felt threatened in some manner or she could have simply described her behavior to them. That likely would have been enough concern bin itself to them.
I had not meant any offense to anyone on this post. I simply found it very hard to ignore that a simple phone call could have saved this girls life. And because it can't be "fixed" now is the most devastating part of it all.
I wouldn't want Boldens life jeopardized any more than Kim's, its just she did have the opportunity to make that call and didn't. If you could ever identify what it feels like for someone to have made that decision for you when you weren't able too, then you could understand where I'm coming from. I'm not sorry you haven't, because I wouldn't want you to ever have too.
I have enough reasons to know how important it is to make that phone call even when someone begs you not too. I think I've said about all I can to this. Besides I guess all in all, it boils down to it doesn't matter how I feel about it. Its not like its reversible.

you missed what i was sayin i was sayin just leave it alone i wasnt judgein anyone just said the family is tryin to cope and a young girl has lost her life have we as a people come to this type finger pointing instead of tryin to say hey no more of this on our young people get real dont judge this lady or this young girl on some blog blog what we can do as a people to change thing s for our young people stop judgein let the police do their job and let the family cope with their lost thank you

"To ignore evil is to become an accomplice to it." Add to that - indifference, cowardice, absence of social conscience - this pretty much makes up the attitude of entitlement that prevails in Charlottesville and the sorry excuses posted here. Poor child, she's in a better place.

Ms_Fritz: This young woman is in a better place? I respectfully doubt her family would agree. I think right now perhaps they think even being here might be a better place. If I were you, in addition to judging Charlottesville for your perception of an attitude of entitlement, perhaps you should look at your own attitude that makes you think you are entitled to be judge and jury. Evil is everywhere, including the minds of those that declare, for example, every copy of a book must be destroyed because because it speaks of something they don't agree with. This brings to mind the Salem witch trials. Cry witch, and if others don’t agree, then they are all witches – burn them all. If you put any town under a microscope and look hard enough you will find that they all have their ugliness, their imperfections, but they also have goodness, kindness and tolerance. Sometimes people only look for evil because that is all, because of their own personal baggage, they want to see.

I am so sorry this young lady lost her life. I am sorry for her family. I am sorry for everyone who will have to suffer because of this tragedy. Thoughtful had it right. How can we change the situation that caused this? I brought up the trestle and questions on how to find a way to stop the foot traffic over it. But no one seems to want to discuss any potential solutions. Only more blame. Sad.

whoever brought up kitty genovese got it right. we studied that in high school and it has haunted me ever since.

Amen to Ms Fritz, imeanseriously, and others. Ms Fritz nails the sense of entitlement and apathy that has permeated Charlottesville. Dialing 911 takes mere seconds.

"Today" has created a self-absorbed laundry list to bolster why Emily Bolden didn't need to call the police. What if she'd called and they couldn't find Kim because she was playing hide & seek in the Woolen Mills? What if it turned out everything was okay after all? What if the police had arrived too late? Conversely, what if she'd followed a simple procedure we've all been taught since we were children and taken the time to call? Maybe Kim could have been saved.

Good lord, people, just do your tiny part to do the right thing! Let the professionals handle it. Here is a name for "Today" to learn: Kitty Genovese. Go look it up, and then get back to us with more excuses.

The idea of anyone in extreme distress, screaming outside a house where people are cowering and can't even be bothered to call 911 fills me with such frustration and sadness, and that applies to anyone who might have heard the screams that night and did nothing. I pray my children never knock on the door of people like this if they are ever attacked or stranded. I hope people will care enough about them to take a few seconds and make a call.

Of course we need to get to the root of the problems of mental illness and homelessness. What are the odds that will happen though when the world is filled with selfish and apathetic people. Poor Kim. She deserved to have a fellow human care enough to at least make a rudimentary gesture to help her in the last hour of her life.

This is the assumption that bothers me: that Ms. Bolden did this callously, or because she was a coward, with no regard for Ms Welch. I don’t know Ms Bolden nor did I know Miss Welch. But I also don’t know all the facts. Kimberly Welch did not want her to call police, this is in the above article. Yes, Bolden perhaps should have done regardless of Welch's wishes. But perhaps this was not the callous act that everyone seems to want to ASSUME it was. You don’t know how the girl reacted to being told Bolden would call the police. Perhaps Bolden did not call the police out of sympathy. Nothing in the article said Ms Bolden was “cowering, ” that was the word of another commenter, the article said she was afraid.

I know who Kitty Genovese was. This is not the same situation. Again, we do not know the facts here, but no one witnessed an attack, as in the Genovese murder. I’m not making excuses for her. There are all kinds of things that could have happened even if she called the police – one cannot ASSUME Welch would have been saved. This is why I was bringing up what you called excuses, when someone said Welch would have been saved-again, we cannot assume that – she might have been. I would just like to know all the facts before condemning Bolden. If it had been me, I would have called the police. But I would like to know why Bolden didn’t before I vilify her. We are all human beings, we sometimes make mistakes in an moment of panic or because we feel sorry for another human being. I don’t want to say this woman was callous and selfish or unfeeling and self absorbed or couldn’t be bothered or any of the myriad of other things said in this comments section without knowing they are true.

I was trained to be a reporter. I try to reserve judgment until I know the all facts and I was pointing out that we do not. However, do not take that to mean I am indifferent or apathetic. Simply wanting to know all the facts before passing judgment does not mean either.

I also feel for the engineer on the train. I grew up in a railroad family, so I've seen things like this far too many times. Because what people don't know is there are two victims here, the young woman and the engineer. Imagine you're carrying tons of cargo behind you and there's someone on the tracks. You can't turn left or right, so all you can do is blow the horn, hit the brakes and pray that they move aside. A smaller train like BBRR runs can probably stop in less then a 1/4 mile from track speed. Something like Norfolk Southern runs? A mile or more! And the coal trains CSX sends through Lynchburg towards Richmond? Try close to two miles. And it's not from lack of braking power...it's the sheer tonnage carried. A 150 car coal train is 16-17k tons, and a train NS runs through Cville is probably around 7-10k tons. None of them can stop on a dime like a car.

There are men and women who can't go back to work after that-even with crisis counseling. I know of one who had a carload of teens literally run around the gate right two seconds before he got there. Never had time to hit to brakes or respond before the five were gone. Every time he came up to a crossing after that, he'd get the shakes so bad he couldn't function. Ended up having to take early retirement.

Uhm, the Harrington case has a DNA link to a rape carried out in Fairfax couple years before her disappearance. Standard CSI/Forensics/Investigation on any death, whether "suicide" or not is investigated the same as if it were a murder. Too many crimes have been staged to look like them.

So, Im, that's why the body's in Richmond...it's being checked to make sure that didn't happen. There'll be a full investigation done-pending condition of the body because trains don't always leave a lot to work with-to check for rape or other assaults. There will also be a full toxic screen done to test for illegal drugs, etc etc.

If there's something that doesn't add up, then you can guarantee the police will know-and already do if that's the case. There not going to tip there hands in public unless they have a good idea who their perp is.

Now, I could go on for the next twenty minutes about standard violent crime scene investigation but I'm too tired to go into it. Look at the first paragraphs and that'll answer you questions.

As for the FBI involvement? That would either entail the local police requesting their assistance or the killer transporting the victim/body across state lines. They just don't jump in. However, there isn't much more that they have that the state investigative agencies don't have.

Let the guys do their jobs now.

@.imeanseriously? It appears that most likely many people turned their backs on this young girl long before she ever showed up at Bolden’s door. Rail on that thought for a while with your infinite wisdom in this subject.

@readthehook, please fix your feature in sent emails that is supposed to keep you from receiving future posts to this article. I've clicked on that link three times and still continue to receive emails of new comments to this article. Please correct this. Thanks.

@whoaNelly...mmm, whatever floats your boat.

@whoever else feels the need to call me out on this article, you will be doing so for nothing.

Sounds like the deceased may have been on meth. Someone on meth can take seemingly irrational actions that some people would incorrectly interpret as intending to commit suicide. Those that claim to know her -- was she a drug user?