My son Aaron was diagnosed with October 2003, he was 2 1/2 years old. It is so ironic that he died exactly 3 years later. in
On October 8, 2003, I had to run over to my mother’s house to pick up something and Aaron wanted to o so I decided to take him with me, even though he was still in his pajamas. We pulled up in my mother’s driveway and I got out and opened the back door so I could take him out of the car. He had already unbuckled his seat belt and climbed all the way in the back of the vehicle (I drive an SUV). I tried to get him to come out but he just laughed, he had just started playing this game with me for about week where he would not come out of the car. Anyway, I decided to leave him in the car and lock all the doors. Up until this time, Aaron did not know how to work the locks on the car door, or so I thought. I ran into my mother’s house and got what I needed, it took maybe 5 minutes. When I came back outside, I saw my driver’s door wide open and Aaron was gone.
I jumped in the car and drove down the street to see if I could find him, I didn’t think he could have gone that far, but he was no where to be found. I quickly called the police and they sent an officer over who took all the information. That day was one of the longest days of my life, media reporters were at my door. Aaron’s face was plastered all over the TV and our phone never stopped ringing. The police were out in full force with helicopters, ATV’s and even on horseback. People all over the community were out looking for him and we even got some tips that did not pan out. To add insult to injury, I was taken by detectives to the police station where I took a polygraph test and was questioned and accused of killing my own son. Apparently, that “good cop, bad cop” scenario is real. Anyway, that night they did not find him and they said they would try again in the morning. I didn’t want them to stop, my baby was out there somewhere!
The next morning I was out helping to find him. That afternoon, I decided to take a nap, I was so exhausted physically and mentally. I heard the phone ring and I heard my mother yell “They’ve found him!” I jumped quickly so I could go get him, then I heard her scream “He drowned!”. I will never forget those words as long as I live. I couldn’t move, all I could do was scream. I ran out the door to go find my older son (He was 10 at the time) I didn’t realize that he was over at the pond when they took his little brother out. I could hear him crying all the way down the street. That was first time in my whole life that I have ever seen my father cry. My sister went to identify the body, and it was him. The sad part about this is that they retention pond was just around the corner from my mother’s house. I have tried to reach out to other families who have suffered like we did, just so they know that they are not alone.
~Juliette M. Steele
A virtual candle can be lit for Aaron at http://aaron-campbell.memory-of.com