Xmas has by no means been the similar for Calab Luckett’s loved ones given that that fateful day in 2016. At a time when quite a few people collect to celebrate, his liked types were being compelled to system his funeral.

Calab’s mom, Jennifer Schwartz, and his aunt, Nancy Byrd, are CNAs who work hard to supply for their people. And that year was no exception. They labored 16-hour shifts and, to make more funds for the holiday seasons, they worked on Xmas Day. The approach was for their family members to rejoice jointly later on in the week. But they by no means obtained the chance.

Calab Luckett
Calab Luckett

“Every year, we relive the heartache,” Nancy explained to Dateline. “My nephew had so a great deal lifetime in advance of him. And it was all taken away from him in an immediate.”

Calab Luckett, who lived in Evansville, Indiana, was just 18 years previous when he was shot and killed on Xmas Day at Parkside Terrace, now recognized as Woodland Park Apartments, on Sunburst Boulevard.

Nancy informed Dateline that her nephew experienced been viewing pals at the intricate that weekend, due to the fact his mother would be doing work. On Christmas Eve, Calab and his mother spoke on the mobile phone, talking about their holiday strategies for later that 7 days. It was the final time she would speak with her son.

“She’s absolutely broken… by no means been the exact same given that that working day,” Nancy reported tearfully. “We equally truly feel so a lot guilt about doing the job that day. But we’re not wealthy. We wrestle each working day. So we were hoping that income would give our households the Xmas they deserved.”

Nancy explained to Dateline that both equally their people had struggled monetarily for decades. Just about every youngster who graduated superior faculty experienced hopes of getting the one who went to college or university, landed a very good task and served pull their people out of poverty. Calab was one particular of them.

“He completed superior school early and planned to go to college,” Nancy stated. “He’d experienced his struggles and concerns, but he understood he required to make a far better lifestyle for himself. And for his loved ones.”

But the working day right after Xmas, Calab’s household would receive the simply call that shattered their life permanently.

“His mom received a call from one particular of his pals who lived there,” Nancy explained to Dateline. “A physique experienced been identified in 1 of the vacant residences. And this buddy believed it could be Calab.”

Calab’s mother rushed to the scene wherever she in the long run finished up identifying her 18-12 months-previous son’s entire body by his tattoos.

Detective Kyle Campbell with the Evansville Police Section explained to Dateline that Calab had been shot and killed within the vacant condominium on December 25. His body was found the up coming working day by a maintenance employee.

“My nephew laid there and bled out, all on your own for hrs,” Nancy reported tearfully. “We really do not know why he was there or who lured him there, but he did not are entitled to to die like that.”

Detective Campbell advised Dateline that he does not know why Calab was in the vacant apartment and does not know if Calab understood his killer(s).

An autopsy by the Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Place of work verified that Calab died from a one gunshot wound to the head and his dying was ruled a murder.

For several years, investigators adopted up on various recommendations and sales opportunities, but absolutely nothing pointed to the human being who pulled the set off.

The detective who responded to the scene, and turned direct investigator on Calab’s circumstance, has given that retired. The scenario was then briefly transferred to a different detective in advance of at last currently being reassigned to Detective Campbell around a 12 months and a 50 percent back. He is hopeful he’ll be in a position to solved Calab’s case and provide closure to his household.

“I’ve spoken with associates of Caleb’s household and have witnessed the heartache that they all carry with them to this working day,” Det. Campbell instructed Dateline. “Christmas is a difficult time for them. Each yr close to this time, individuals will speak to the family with information or the latest rumor they’ve read about Caleb’s loss of life. Normally it is absolutely nothing new, but the identical outdated stories becoming advised over and more than yet again. These people today suggest nicely, and imagine they’re supporting, but they don’t get to see how it really hurts the spouse and children and extends their grief.”

Detective Campbell advised Dateline that he is pursuing new prospects in the scenario, but would not elaborate on specifics owing to the investigation remaining open up and energetic. But he additional that if anyone is compelled to share information and facts on Caleb’s death, he asks that they share it with legislation enforcement.

“My coronary heart goes out to Caleb’s loved ones and pals,” Det. Campbell reported. “I can’t picture what it’s been like for them and what they’ve experienced to go via. I hope to catch Caleb’s killer, but I identify that is not a thing that I can do alone. I need to have the assist of the neighborhood. Someone knows the truth of the matter about what took place that Xmas. We just need to discuss.”

Calab’s family members continues to keep in close contact with Det. Campbell and is hopeful a clean set of eyes on the scenario will at last deliver them closure.

Nancy designed Justice for Calab Luckett, a Facebook group that shares recollections and pics of Calab, although pleading for strategies and info that could assistance piece jointly a timeline of the weekend.

“It’s been a downhill spiral considering that that Christmas 4 yrs back,” Calab’s aunt Nancy advised Dateline. “His mom give up dwelling immediately after his loss of life. I was there for her in every single nook and cranny, but all I can do is empathize. I could not really experience her suffering. Not like that.”

Nancy told Dateline that every Christmas has been heartbreaking for their family but, very little by small, they are beginning the method of therapeutic. And for the initially time in a long time, Calab’s mother has set up a Christmas tree.

“I know the discomfort is even now clean for her,” Nancy reported. “But we’re doing the finest we can. We hope by sharing my nephew’s story, an individual will occur forward. We require peace for our family members, and peace for Calab.”

Any one with details about Calab’s circumstance need to connect with the Evansville Police Tip Line at (812) 435-6194. All phone calls are nameless.