Christmas has by no means been the identical for Calab Luckett’s household since that fateful day in 2016. At a time when many households collect to have fun, his family members have been pressured to plan his funeral.
Calab’s mom, Jennifer Schwartz, and his aunt, Nancy Byrd, are CNAs who work laborious to offer for his or her households. And that 12 months was no exception. They labored 16-hour shifts and, to make extra cash for the vacations, they labored on Christmas Day. The plan was for his or her households to have fun collectively later within the week. However they by no means obtained the prospect.
“Yearly, we relive the heartache,” Nancy instructed Dateline. “My nephew had a lot life forward of him. And it was all taken away from him straight away.”
Calab Luckett, who lived in Evansville, Indiana, was simply 18 years outdated when he was shot and killed on Christmas Day at Parkside Terrace, now referred to as Woodland Park Residences, on Sunburst Boulevard.
Nancy instructed Dateline that her nephew had been visiting pals on the complicated that weekend, since his mom could be working. On Christmas Eve, Calab and his mom spoke on the cellphone, discussing their vacation plans for later that week. It was the final time she would communicate along with her son.
“She’s fully damaged… by no means been the identical since that day,” Nancy mentioned tearfully. “We each really feel a lot guilt about working that day. However we’re not rich. We battle each day. So we have been hoping that cash would give our households the Christmas they deserved.”
Nancy instructed Dateline that each their households had struggled financially for years. Every baby who graduated highschool had hopes of being the one who went to school, landed an excellent job and helped pull their households out of poverty. Calab was one in every of them.
“He completed highschool early and deliberate to go to school,” Nancy mentioned. “He’d had his struggles and points, however he knew he needed to make a greater life for himself. And for his household.”
However the day after Christmas, Calab’s household would obtain the decision that shattered their lives without end.
“His mother obtained a name from one in every of his pals who lived there,” Nancy instructed Dateline. “A physique had been present in one of many vacant flats. And this pal believed it could possibly be Calab.”
Calab’s mom rushed to the scene the place she finally ended up figuring out her 18-year-old son’s physique by his tattoos.
Detective Kyle Campbell with the Evansville Police Division instructed Dateline that Calab had been shot and killed contained in the vacant residence on December 25. His physique was discovered the following day by a upkeep employee.
“My nephew laid there and bled out, on their own for hours,” Nancy mentioned tearfully. “We don’t know why he was there or who lured him there, however he didn’t need to die like that.”
Detective Campbell instructed Dateline that he doesn’t know why Calab was within the vacant residence and doesn’t know if Calab knew his killer(s).
An post-mortem by the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Workplace confirmed that Calab died from a single gunshot wound to the top and his dying was dominated a murder.
For years, investigators adopted up on quite a few suggestions and leads, however nothing pointed to the one who pulled the set off.
The detective who responded to the scene, and have become lead investigator on Calab’s case, has since retired. The case was then briefly transferred to a different detective earlier than lastly being reassigned to Detective Campbell roughly a 12 months and a half in the past. He’s hopeful he’ll be capable to solved Calab’s case and produce closure to his household.
“I’ve spoken with members of Caleb’s household and have seen the heartache that all of them carry with them to at the present time,” Det. Campbell instructed Dateline. “Christmas is a tough time for them. Every year round this time, folks will contact the household with data or the newest rumor they’ve heard about Caleb’s dying. Usually it’s nothing new, however the identical outdated tales being instructed over and over. These folks imply nicely, and assume they’re serving to, however they don’t get to see the way it really hurts the household and extends their grief.”
Detective Campbell instructed Dateline that he’s following new leads within the case, however wouldn’t elaborate on particulars because of the investigation being open and lively. However he added that if anybody is compelled to share data on Caleb’s dying, he asks that they share it with regulation enforcement.
“My coronary heart goes out to Caleb’s household and pals,” Det. Campbell mentioned. “I can’t think about what it’s been like for them and what they’ve needed to undergo. I hope to catch Caleb’s killer, however I acknowledge that isn’t one thing that I can do alone. I want the assistance of the neighborhood. Somebody is aware of the reality about what occurred that Christmas. We simply want to speak.”
Calab’s household continues to remain in shut contact with Det. Campbell and is hopeful a recent set of eyes on the case will lastly convey them closure.
Nancy created Justice for Calab Luckett, a Fb group that shares reminiscences and photographs of Calab, whereas pleading for suggestions and knowledge that might assist piece collectively a timeline of the weekend.
“It’s been a downhill spiral since that Christmas 4 years in the past,” Calab’s aunt Nancy instructed Dateline. “His mom stop dwelling after his dying. I used to be there for her in each nook and cranny, however all I can do is empathize. I couldn’t really really feel her ache. Not like that.”
Nancy instructed Dateline that each Christmas has been heartbreaking for his or her household however, little by little, they’re beginning the method of therapeutic. And for the primary time in years, Calab’s mom has put up a Christmas tree.
“I do know the ache remains to be recent for her,” Nancy mentioned. “However we’re doing the most effective we will. We hope by sharing my nephew’s story, somebody will come ahead. We’d like peace for our households, and peace for Calab.”
Anybody with details about Calab’s case ought to name the Evansville Police Tip Line at (812) 435-6194. All calls are nameless.