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THIS GUEST OPINION PIECE BY: Mark Patnaude, whose sister Heidi Patnaude was murdered by her husband, Mike Padeiro-- the "Mike" in Mike & Wayne's Uniforms and Accessories in Fairhaven--30 years ago today. This was a letter Mark sent to Mike & Wayne's owner Wayne Oliveira last year to ask for Mike's name to be removed from the business.

 

To: Wayne Oliveira

From: Patnaude Family

RE: Business name

Wayne Oliveira,

I/we are aware several years have passed since the day your friend and business partner Mike Padeiro murdered my sister Heidi Patnaude. Not a day goes by that we don't think of her.

My family has grown over the years, as Heidi left four brothers. Today, in addition to adding four sisters-in-law, Heidi would have 12 nieces and nephews who have never had the chance to meet her. That alone breaks our hearts, as Heidi had a love for children and was robbed of being an aunt, something she would have cherished. While we have pictures to share and stories to tell, they will never replace her. The silent pain of her absence at family functions, holidays, birthdays, celebrations and life changes will always be felt.

Mike changed the history and future of my family. While explaining Heidi's death and answering questions one might have about Heidi remains very difficult and heart-wrenching, Heidi will always be remembered and talked about and kept alive in our hearts.

I understand you lost your friend and a business partner in this tragedy and undoubtedly suffered grief. The truth of the matter is it was Mike’s actions that caused this heartbreak; he made the decision to shoot my sister, not once but twice, and then himself. We all wish we could erase that day but instead have been forced to live with the permanent consequences and try to accept it, for the most part. Yet there are some things that continue to be open wounds and we believe need to be righted.

The purpose of the letter is to ask you respectfully to please remove Mike's name from your business/signs, etc. We will no longer be silent about Mike’s actions and how he took Heidi’s life. It’s offensive to my family and it’s plain wrong. Over the years, I’ve spoken to many people about this, and without exception, they are in disbelief that Mike’s name is associated with your business after murdering Heidi.

I'm sure if it was your daughter, sister or family member who this happened to you would be bothered by it as well. Please consider the trauma that we endured on that day and the never-ending loss that we carry.

It's the right thing to do, Wayne, and it would be much appreciated. Look forward to your reply.

I hope wisdom will prevail.

The Patnaude Family

Editor's Note: 'SouthCoast Voices' is a series of guest opinions from newsmakers across the region, on relevant issues that directly impact the people of Greater New Bedford and the surrounding communities. The opinions are solely those of the author. If you are interested in contributing, please contact tim@wbsm.com for more information.