Metro park transformed after Reagan Tokes’ murder

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COLUMBUS - This is not a place where Lisa McCrary-Tokes liked to visit. And who could blame her.

Nearly two years ago, Scioto Grove Metro Park became a murder scene.

The place where her daughter, Reagan, was taken from her.

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“I remember the first time I came here I thought, well that's it, I went once and I thought I will never, ever set foot in that park again.”

It was here that her daughter was fatally shot after what prosecutors described as a hellish night on February 8, 2017 – Reagan had been kidnaped from her job in the Short North area, raped and robbed by Brian Golsby, a convicted sex offender who had been released from prison just three months earlier. Golsby, as 10 Investigates had previously reported, was released from prison and assigned a GPS ankle monitor but he was not closely monitored.

Lisa said that she and her husband, Toby, wanted to change the negative imagery associated with the park and their daughter’s murder.

As Lisa puts it, she wanted to give others: “a sense of peace and tranquility....as opposed to fear and darkness.”

Lisa McCrary-Tokes told 10 Investigates during an interview Tuesday that her family worked with a team of Metro Parks representatives to come with a vision – to change some of the green space in the park to be dedicated to Reagan’s memory and spirit.

“And that was one of the reasons I knew this place needed to change is because it felt very heavy and dark,” Lisa McCrary-Tokes said. “As time went forward I thought we have to figure out a way to move forward with this in a positive way that is going to spread love and light and promote something positive in the world from something dark and awful.”

The new space, Lisa says, is both expansive and inclusive and reflective of her daughter’s spirit and beauty.

“I want people to remember the beautiful person she was and how she unified people and radiated that love and joy.”

Lisa said that the Metro Parks has so far footed the bill for the changes to the park but that her family plans to make future contributions for the park space’s upkeep.

It’s not the only area Lisa McCrary-Tokes wants to transform.

Legislation that would dramatically change how violent felons are sentenced to prison and how they’re monitored once they’re released is still pending in the Ohio Statehouse.

The Reagan Tokes Act also calls for reducing parole officers’ caseloads and creating a statewide GPS database that would be made available to law enforcement.

While those latter portions of the bill have run into some legislation pushback, Lisa says she is not willing to compromise on those portions of the bill.

“For me, there is no satisfaction if it’s not the whole thing.”

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