This is a story about life; about how it can change so suddenly and yet also come right back around again.
It’s a story about love and hate and also tragedy. And, in the long run, none of it makes much sense.
There is a photo on Facebook, a picture dated Nov. 24, 2014, of a high school senior looking the camera and smiling. The only comment to the right reads, “You are such a beautiful granddaughter! Love you, Gramma.”
A little more than one year later if you Google the name “Natalie Keepers” another photo comes up. A mug shot.
She was arrested over the weekend and charged with “one felony count of improper disposal of a dead body and one misdemeanor count of accessory after the fact in the commission of a felony,” according to a report on CNN.
To look through a person’s Facebook page is to see part of that person’s persona. Natalie is 19 years old, a student at Virginia Tech. She is from Laurel, Md. While in high school, she was involved in her school’s theater department. She is seen in pictures smiling with friends, laughing, goofing off.
There is also a picture of her from her high school graduation and a photo of her that looks like a family photo, standing in front of a home.
It all just leaves you wondering how she could have played a role in the death of a 13 year old girl.
In case you haven’t seen the story, 13-year-old Nicole Madison Lovell was abducted from her home last week and on Saturday her body was found in a lake in North Carolina.
Another Virginia Tech student, a freshman named David Edmond Eisenhauer, 18, of Columbia, Maryland, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and abduction. He was a member of the school’s cross country team.
One day later, Keepers was arrested, as well.
This is a tragedy beyond Shakespearian. A young girl — who survived a liver transplant, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and lymphoma when she was just 5 years old — is taken from the world far too soon, and quite likely far too violently for us to want to comprehend.
Then there are two other young people — somebody’s son, somebody else’s daughter — who allegedly played a role in the death, whose lives are forever changed, as well. Their punishment will come in time if and when the courts see fit, but their families are torn apart emotionally, as well.
People can be cruel. We all know that. Life, though, can feel so much crueler when you start thinking about the dominos that fall and how it affects those inside each family’s circle.
A week ago, all three were living out their lives with the passing of each day. The future was theirs for the taking.
And now it’s all changed.