Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Krystal Dawn Steadman

The Fallen Cross

On November 18, 2003, the two-ton steel cross for nine-year-old Krystal Steadman was cut from its concrete foundation and hoisted on to a flatbed truck by Nevada Department of Transportation employees. "It seems like everyone just wants to keep hurting her," family friend Jerry Marshall told the Associated Press, his eyes welling with tears. "I hope whoever has done this is happy, because it's making a lot of people distressed — the kind of distress they couldn't even imagine."

Krystal Steadman
Krystal Steadman

"Our family is just like your family," Krystal's sister Sonya Klempner said as she watched NDOT workers dismantle the cross. "I think this stood as a reminder that things like this do happen even in our small town. It was as big as it was because people kept destroying it... the importance of that memorial was to remind the community that there are monsters around us all the time and that we have to protect our children." Klempner said.

In an effort to keep other children safe from violence, Sonya Klempner now spends her free time encouraging parents and children to report all suspicious incidents to law enforcement. To contact Klempner, send an e-mail to

Was justice ever served for Krystal Steadman? In the end it really depends on how you look at it. The fact that Thomas Soria Sr. was never found guilty does weigh heavy on some, however regardless of how things might have turned out, nothing could ever bring Krystal back. She's in a place where none of that matters anymore — a place where she knows no pain and suffering. Her long and trying ordeal is over.

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