STOCKTON, California – A long-lost letter made a return trip 14 years after a Stockton high school student was murdered.
Nineteen-year-old Aaron Vickers was killed in a drive-by shooting in 2002. Thanks to Facebook, one of Vickers’ former teachers is sharing a piece of his life, reports CBS Sacramento.
“When I opened the letter and saw his handwriting, tears filled my eyes,” said Tyra Vickers-Kearney, Aaron’s sister.
In his own words, by his own hand, Aaron’s innermost thoughts and dreams are inspiring his family 14 years after his death.
“May 23rd, 2000, Aaron wrote a letter to his future self and it was a high school assignment. From the high school assignment that Aaron wrote to himself, the teacher kept it,” Tyra Vickers-Kearney said.
That teacher was Daryl Hutchins, who used to work at Plaza Robles High School.
With a promise to mail the letters back to students after 10 years, Hutchins turned to Facebook to help find Aaron’s family after learning the high school junior had been shot and killed in 2002.
“The days waiting for the letter, the anticipation was so high. We were wondering, what did the letter say? You know, I hope it’s not like a one-liner,” Tyra Vickers-Kearney said.
But what that four-page letter contained was a priceless gift.
“I’ve never felt his presence like that in the past 14 years, but I felt like he was sitting right next to the side of me as she was reading this letter,” said Aaron’s mother Deanetta Vickers.
Perhaps the most surprising wasn’t just his hope for a family, but his profoundly optimistic and eerily accurate take on the country’s political climate.
“He mentioned in 10 years, we’ll probably have a black vice president. Or maybe a woman would be president,” Tyra Vickers-Kearney said.
The person responsible for killing Aaron has never been caught. He left behind a son who is now 13 and shares his father’s name.