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Praying for Closure

Updated: November 12, 2008, 8:53 PM ET
By Elizabeth Merrill
Two years later, here's the irony: Bryan Pata might have been the lucky one. Like many great athletes dying young, he never had to face the inevitable diminishment of his physical gifts, the betrayals of mind and body, the failure to achieve his dreams. And unlike those who were left behind -- Bryan's mother, his siblings, a girlfriend, former teammates -- the University of Miami (Fla.) defensive end never had to feel the anger, the frustration, the sense of loss, that maddening lack of closure that follows a murder still no closer to being solved than it was more than 700 days ago.

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