Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Working Together Wednesday/Andrew Compton

Let me introduce you to

Andrew was born two months prematurely with life-threatening lung and heart issues that required very radical treatments to save his life. His parents camped out at his bedside day and night, wondering if he would even survive. Quiet and strong, he made it through those first two months. Andrew had many subsequent hospitalizations, including open heart surgery and a surgically placed feeding tube until he was 5. 
Over the years, a lot of hard work was done with Andrew to get him and keep him healthier. As his health improved, he began to blossom. In 3rd grade, he began baking in 4-H, having a flair for finding the most complicated recipes. His elementary school had done a great job of helping him to grow and expand his horizons. His family was surprised when he wanted to be in the school plays in the 4th and 5th grade. There were no cuts - all he had to do was get in front of the microphone. He did well. His Grandmother was a seamstress, and she supported him with a fabulous costume.
  Andrew was very fond of all animals – even the stuffed animals. His brother, Derek took special pride in kidnapping his favorite – known as Huskie – which prompted Andrew to raise his voice (which he rarely did otherwise)and chase his brother. He raised and showed rabbits – even lavender colored ones! When one of them would have babies, Andrew would take them up to his room, lie on the floor, and let them hop all over him. He and Derek, were also known to go to the local animal shelter and frolic with as many of the cats and kittens as they could. He would go to the pet store just to pet whatever random animals they had. He showed his cat, Butterscotch in 4-H. He was especially proud of Butterscotch’s cage cover that had been sewn by his Grandmother.
His father, John, always had a dry sense of humor, which made him smile. Andrew had his own sense of humor, and would tell lengthy, sometimes pointless,jokes at dinner that would make Derek laugh so hard that he would nearly choke. Andrew and his brother, Derek, formed deep relationships with kids their own age in the neighborhood, often playing around their houses in the evening with very creative “night games” such as capture the flag and foursquare. It was always hard to get them to come in. Andrew, his brother, and friends Andrew enjoyed many overnights with his cousins and friends, and especially enjoyed when his cousins from Arizona or Chicago came to visit.  They would create and tape shows with various costumes and props usually involved.
His favorite beverage was hot chocolate – not just any hot chocolate, mind you, but made with only the best chocolate available. It was a must - whether in the searing heat of August or in the icy frostbitten cold of January. He loved chocolate so much, it seemed that Andrew’s quest in life was to discover the best chocolate in the world. He treasured cooking – especially baking - with a particular fondness for desserts. Sometimes he would wake his parents up late at night with his baking activities. He was known to have more than one dessert sometimes two or three – after dinner. As a high school sophomore, he spent the day at Ghyslain Chocolates in Union City, Indiana, working side by side with the owner, a Montreal-born pastry chef. After that experience, he knew for sure that this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.
This led him to enroll in the Culinary Arts program at Sullivan University in Louisville, moving there in mid September. He made many friends quickly at Sullivan and was evolving into a social butterfly, much to the pleasant surprise of his parents and family. Everyone one who met Andrew liked him. One of his cousins, Sean, said that Andrew never got on his nerves, which went against the dynamics of the rest of the family. His family worked very hard to get him to smile, and smile he did with his famous sheepish smile. Although not one to initiate a conversation, he always wanted to be included. Andrew was a quiet, sweet, kind, trusting, laid-back,friendly, lovable kid who loved well and was well loved. He affected the lives of many in ways he could never have dreamed, and he was affected by us in ways we could never have imagined.
Rest In Peace, Andrew.
Cheryl Lamb and Angela (Lamb) Compton
November 14, 2010

As you have probably figured out Andrew is no longer here with his family. His life was taken from him on October 28, 2010 when he was just 18 years old. 

I have followed Andrew's story for several months now. To say that the way his life ended was horrible is an understatement. I have really been struggling with what information I should and shouldn't share with you. I will give you some of the details of the case but think that it is important that we keep the focus on Andrew and what an amazing person he was. 

I first heard of Andrew on Twitter in a tweet posted by FCKH8. The tweet grabbed my attention real quick and so I started following Andrews Angels on Twitter. From there I found the Facebook page called Resume The Search For Andrew Compton, from there I found the petition to try and get the search going again to find Andrews body. You can also find updates on the case by clicking here

On the night of October 28, 2010 Andrew left his dorm room, he was being picked up by someone he had met online. There is security video of Andrew leaving and the car he left in. That night was the last time anyone saw Andrew alive. His parents became worried when they hadn't heard from Andrew as it wasn't like him to not have contact with them even for a few hours. On October 30th Andrews family filed a missing persons report. Nothing was missing from his dorm room, his credit card had not been used, and his phone was going straight to voicemail. Andrews family started living out of a hotel room while searching for their son. On November 9, 2010 a man was arrested for the murder of Andrew Compton. Greg O'Bryan confessed that Andrew had died while having sexual relations and that he disposed of his body. O'Bryan claims that he put Andrew is a cardboard box and then put the box into a dumpster. Police searched a landfill for a little more than a week and now claim they have exhausted all leads.

Like I said before I really struggled putting this post together. Since I was a teenager I have always had an interest in true crime stories. I wanted to know details, the hows and the whys, I think so that I could try to make sense of it all. Nine times out of ten I am left to be more confused than when I started. Andrews story is one of those times I am left to ask why? how? and again why? How can a young man with such a love for life be taken just when his life should be beginning? Why would someone just treat Andrew like he was a piece of trash by placing his body in a box and throwing it in a dumpster? How could a police department just give up looking for Andrew?  Trust me when I say I have about a million more questions in my head. If I have all these questions what about all the questions Andrews parents have?

Why am I telling you about Andrew? Because he was a son, a brother, a cousin and a friend. As much as I hate to say it, it could have been your child, brother or friend that this happened to. He was NOT a piece of trash to be tossed aside. Andrews body is still out there somewhere and he needs to be found. His family deserves to be able to give him a proper burial, Andrew deserves a proper burial. I am a parent and I can not begin to imagine the heartache that his parents must be going through and will continue to go through until they have their son home. 

Now I know that there are going to be those who will question why Andrew would meet up with someone online. This is something that his parents had addressed with him before. What it all boils down to is that Andrew was a teenage boy who made a bad decision, how many teenagers don't make a bad decision? Shoot for that fact how many adults make bad decisions? It comes down to the reality that no matter if you meet someone online, in a bar, school, or any other place something horrible can happen. We need to make sure our kids know the dangers of meeting up, getting in a vehicle, and or being alone with anyone that they don't really know. You can click here to read some online safety tips and here are some great tips for online dating.

What can we do for Andrew and his family? There are so many things we can do and a lot of them are just a simple click of your mouse. Keep his story out there, keep his face out there, sign the petition to resume the search for him. If you are a blogger share his story on your blog, you could even just link back to my post. If you are a Tweeter you can follow Andrews Angels and just click retweet on one or more of their tweets. If you are a Facebooker join the pages set up in Andrews name, click the share button. You can click the donate button on the link here to help his family with traveling costs, lodging costs, and burial costs once Andrew is found, no amount is too little. 

I would like the Compton family and Andrews friends to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Links to find:
Andrews Angels on Twitter click here
Resume the search for Andrew Facebook page click here
Petition to resume search click here
Updates on the case click and here
Donations click here or at any PNC Bank branch and stating you want to donate to the Andrew Compton Memorial Fund

Peace, Love and Cupcakes

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