Family fears missing daughter killed in JJ’s fire - KCTV5

Family fears missing daughter killed in JJ’s fire

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Photo courtesy family of Megan Cramer. Megan shown with her niece, August McGrail Jan. 24, 2009 Photo courtesy family of Megan Cramer. Megan shown with her niece, August McGrail Jan. 24, 2009
SPRINGFIELD, MO (KCTV) -

The family of Megan Cramer said they believe she was killed in the fire at JJ's Restaurant.

Cramer was an employee at the restaurant, and she was working at the time of the explosion.

A body was found in the rubble Wednesday morning. Officials have not positively identified the body as that of Cramer's, but have told the family they expect to get positive identification later this week.

A representative for Cramer's family sent out a letter late Wednesday afternoon describing the 46-year-old woman as "a poet, writer, attorney, social activist, and server - loved and was beloved by those with whom she met and interacted."

Cramer has been missing since the explosion and fire broke out on the Plaza and her family and friends have been very concerned about her whereabouts.

Her friends have been frantically trying to reach her since Tuesday evening. Wednesday just after noon about 20 people gathered near the JC Nichols Fountain to lean on each other, pray and hope the body pulled from the rubble Wednesday morning wasn't hers.

"Yesterday I texted her right away, and all my friends who work at JJ's right after we found out. There was confusion as to whether she was one of the ones who'd left early or if she was still in the building," Cramer's friend Aimee Duke said early on in the day. "That's all you can do is hope it's not her and if it is, it'll be a devastating loss to Kansas City. She was an amazing woman, so we're all hoping it's not her and it's just a fluke that she hasn't been found yet."

Tuesday night friends and co-workers were staked out at all the hospitals nearby trying to figure out where everyone was and Cramer was the only one they didn't know about.

"(She is) a very caring, giving, head-strong woman. She was always there if you needed her. She was a trainer at the Melting Pot where we worked. A lot of us saw her as a mother or a sister. She's an amazing woman," Duke said. "Any tragedy like this is devastating for both survivors and anyone affected by it."

While it does take up to 48 hours for a positive identification from medical records, Cramer's family said they've been told the body found in the rubble Wednesday morning is most likely hers and are preparing for the news.

Below is the letter in its entirety from Cramer's family:

"Megan Jennifer Cramer - a poet, writer, attorney, social activist, and server - loved and was beloved by those with whom she met and interacted. Megan was born on June 21, 1966, in Emporia, Kansas, three months before her family moved to Springfield, Missouri, where the family continues to live. She attended Delaware and Rountree Elementary Schools, Jarrett Junior High School, and graduated from Parkview High School.

She graduated from the University of Missouri at Kansas City as an undergraduate and also from the UMKC School of Law. She spent many hours as a law student at the Center for the Study of Capital Punishment working weekly pro bono while in law school to assist prisoners on death row at Potosi Federal Prison. She helped found the first chapter of the Lesbian and Gay Student Group at UMKC.

Megan lived in Kansas City for 26 years, living on the Plaza. After practicing law in Kansas City, she returned to her love of working with people as a server, first at the Melting Pot on the Plaza and then at JJ's Italian Restaurant. Megan loved people, books, films, writing, reading, and painting. She loved summer poetry and writing classes at the Provincetown Fine Arts Center, Provincetown, Massachusetts, which the whole family attended for nearly a decade.

Megan is the daughter of Carter and Genny Cramer or Springfield, Missouri. Her sister, Stephanie Cramer and niece, August McGrail, also live in Springfield.

The family asks that their privacy be respected during this time."

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