Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff Carl L. Darling, Jr.

Otsego County Sheriff's Office, Michigan

End of Watch Saturday, May 3, 1986

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff Carl L. Darling, Jr.

Rest in peace Deputy Sheriff Darling.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

January 9, 2019

30 years have passed..... and yet it is burned into my memory like it occurred just yesterday. I will never forget your family. i will never forget your sense of humor. I will never forget your stopping by the office to show me the new suit you had just purchased to wear to court that week on a case we were prosecuting. And, I will never forget receiving that nightmarish phone call informing me of the discovery of your patrol car in an adjoining county. My Investigator Jerry Boerema wrote the following tribute to Carl after his murder.

'A Fallen Brother'
In memory of Deputy Carl L. Darling
Slain May 3, 1986

He stood proud and tall,
when he put on the brown.
He was like a rookie,
trying to protect the people.
What he lacked in stature,
he made up in integrity.
Not many Police Officers
could match the ability
of this young Veteran
dressed in brown.

He stood for what all good cops do;
Pride, Integrity, and Professionalism,
and he carried them well.
In less than four short years,
he did more than most do in twenty.
He did it with that same
Pride, Integrity and Professionalism.

Then on one routine night,
typical of most northern nights,
it ended..... With a bullet.
Something we never expect
will happen to us,
yet, something we all fear.

Some call him just another cop,
we call him a Fallen Brother.
The star he wore seems to weep,
bend somewhat down,
in memory of this Fallen Brother,
Who will rise again
to stand proud and tall.

Jerry W. Boerema
Otsego County Prosecutor's Office
Lodge 175

....until we meet again Carl, until we meet again.

Honorable Norman R Hayes
Probate Court Judge

May 5, 2016

I worked with Carl at the Otsego Co Sheriff Dept the day he was killed. I went home after my shift and listened to the scanner as the events unfolded. Somehow, I just felt that something was wrong.

Sabrina, your family is not forgotten just like your father will never be forgotten. I remember responding to your house during the gas explosion incident and visiting you in the hospital. You can assure your children that their grandfather was, in fact, a hero. He would be very proud of you and your children.

I left the Sheriff's Office shortly afterward to work in State Corrections. As did Billy Artress, I've shared your father's story many, many times when training our perimeter patrol officers of the importance of officer safety. Your fathers legacy has been shared in areas you could never imagine. Who knows how many lives were saved by sharing what happened to your father.

Rest assured, Deputy Carl Darling will never be forgotten.

Capt. Mark Krupiarz (Retired)Michigan Department of Corrections

February 1, 2015

As a member of the Michigan National Guard, I was at Camp Grayling when first hearing of this incident. This incidnet was unfolding when I first got word. As a Sheriff's Deputy at the time in Saginaw County, we all took it personal, and tracked the incident until its conclusion in Georgia. In the last month, your father was discussed again so he is still remembered by many of us as well.

Captain Robert B Phelps (Retired)
Saginaw County Sheriff's Office

December 1, 2014

I am the daughter of Carl, I was 13 when he was killed. I remember dad everyday, with the holidays coming it is even more in the front of our memories and thoughts. I have 2 children that never were given the opportunity to meet their grandfather, my son (he is 17) is so wanting to go in to the criminal justice field, I know that dad would be proud of him.
There has been many moments that I remember over the years that I wish he was with me to share. The one memory that was hardest was the day I brought my daughter home from the hospital. (She is 20 now) and I still get choked up thinking about how he would have loved to have met her.
I have not been on the site for a while. I want everyone to know that it means a lot to my brother, my mother and I that he is still remembered. My mother and I continue to be part of the COPS organization and are honored to be part of wonderful and caring family. Thank you to everyone that has posted something over the years.


November 20, 2014

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 27th anniversary year of your death. I am priviliged to leave a tribute to you. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

May 10, 2013

To the family of Officer Darling,
I am the grandson of Roger Walstead (the Oakland county hunter that went missing at the same time and is believed to also have been murdered by the suspect in Carl's murder: Joel Paul Hanna). As we approach the 16 year anniversary of their deaths I wanted you to know that we also think of your family at this time of year, and we remember Carl's sacrifice in the line of duty. May you find comfort in the fact that he will NOT be forgotten

Russell D. Morgan
Grandson of fellow victim of Joel P. Hanna

April 21, 2012

Deputy Darling,I was a reserve officer @ the time of your kidnap and murder.I along with fellow regular and reserve officers from HSPD attended your funeral.It was a very somber and tragic event one I will remember always.I attended unfortunately several officer(s) funerals during my career with HSPD.You will be remembered for your service and your sacrifice for serving and protecting the citizens of Otsego County Michigan.

Reserve Officer (retired)E.Barkley
Harbor Springs Police Dept

January 16, 2011

After attending the Police Memorial here in Lansing, Michigan for the fallen Brothers, it again brought back the memory of you at the Crawford Co. SD talking with us just hours before you ended your watch. I will never forget the endless hours officers spent looking for the suspect. I will also never forget being called to the MSP Crime Lab to be informed that they had found your killer in Georgia. May you rest in peace friend.

Scott A Pellerito, Chief Retired
Buena Vista Township Police & Fire

May 12, 2010

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

May 4, 2010



May 5, 2008

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

November 26, 2007

Officer Darling thank you for your service to the people of Otsego County, I will never forget the day you were taken from us, I was in highschool and a friend and I had pulled over to give a hitchhiker a ride on old 27, I don't remember his face but i do remember he had a black backpack as he jogged up to the passenger side of the car for some reason i told my friend to go,I didn't feel right about giving him a ride,and we drove away.I was in total shock and I could not believe that within 2 short hours this man would have taken your life. That is a day i will never forget,I believe that day you lead that man away from the people of the county you took an oath to serve, knowingly or not you intervened. God Bless you and your family Officer Darling. You will never be forgotten.


November 3, 2007

I knew Carl both as a Police Office and a friend. Carl worked with my Dad, Ret./Sgt Glenn A. Artress as well as my brother<-(n- law) Deceased/Sgt. Larry C. Washburn at the Otsego County Sheriff's Office. This mishap is still so clear in my mind it seems as if were yesterday! About a week or so before Carl was taken to protect others in Heaven I remember chatting w/him along Mancelona Road while we both were at work. I have the Manhunt for Carl and for Carl's killer burned in my mind. I remember getting the call and loading up w/K-9, Hans to go assist with the hunt. I remember{my brohter<-(n-law)}Larry calling for myself and K-9, Hans to attempt to run a track from where Carl and his patrol call were located, and all that followed. Every new officer that I have any input on their training as a Police Officer will hear the Carl Darling story for two reasons; one is the fact that we must always attempt to keep that one step higher level of control, and two the most important issue live each day like it could be your last as you just never know! Carl shall live on through many of us left down here Serving and Protecting the citizens that live, work and play in our communities!

Sheriff Wm. G. "Bill" Artress
Office of Sheriff, Kalkaska County, Michigan

August 3, 2006

Rest, Sir. You are still remembered

May 4, 2006

Your spirit lives on in everyone of us who wears the uniform.

December 25, 2004

I remember going to school with Carl at Kirtland Community College from 1978 to 1980. We both graduated from the same Pre-Employment Program (Kirtland's 1st ever) and ventured out into the world of Law Enforcement. Carl was such a nice guy. Never a mean thing to say about anyone, and always seemed to be in a good mood. He was an asset to our class. I know he was an asset to Otsego County. I was shocked and devastated that Sunday morning when I came to work and heard what had happened. I wanted to join the man hunt so badly I could taste it. probably was a good thing I wasn't allowed to go. These deaths are not supposed to happen to those you know. They were always something you read about in the paper or hear on radio or Television. How quickly we all learn that isn't the way it works! It can happen to any of us at any time, and without any advance warning. I remember and will NEVER FORGET the long following of mourning officers and family at your funeral. I will always remember the long walk on that hot May day, and mostly I will always have embedded in my mind the sight of your grieved wife and children. I remember thinking how great it would be to turn back the clock so that day never had to happen.
I have actually thought about you many many times over the past 18 years. You have NOT and never will be forgotten Carl!! I don't know if your family ever might read this, but they need to know that others thought highly of you and that they too, have NOT been forgotten! God Bless you!

Assistant Chief
Boyne City P.D.

September 18, 2004

Carl, I remember the day you were taken from us. I remember the manhunt for your killer. Every officer in Michigan and surrounding states were looking for the person that took you from us. I remember the feeling that I had when your killer was found, and I remember the outcome of that manhunt.
Thank you Carl for all that you did. Know that you have not been forgotten, and never will.

Lt Thomas Drury
Clare City P.D. Michigan

September 14, 2004

Rest in peace Brother Carl, you are a true hero and will never be forgotten.

Son of G. Truman Wortham EOW 7/15/73

Assistant Chief Carl Wortham
Sand Springs Police Dept. Okla

December 19, 2003

Carl and I and worked together for a summer. He was a very kind and noble man who died just trying to give a ride to a hitchhiker. Carl was a great family man who was respected by the community. Carl's death still seems so unreal a true loss for all who knew him


October 24, 2003

God Speed DS Darling

Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Mont. Co.

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