It's school time. The smell of new erasers, the look of new clothes and shoes, the feeling of running one's fingers through a new haircut, the sound of laughter and excitement, and the taste of school food....A multitude of children all over the state of Texas will be experiencing their first day of school on Monday, August 27, 2012; all except my granddaughter, Aleesa Jade Koepp. Aleesa, a beautiful, healthy baby girl, would have turned four-years-old this coming October. At this age, she should be enrolled in some form of Pre-K program at Head Start or a church. Aleesa should be wearing an adorable sundress with a huge bow in her hair as she carries all of her new school supplies in a pink backpack.But on November 15, 2009 in Richland Springs, Texas, Aleesa's life was stolen from her at the innocent age of thirteen months. She died as a result of asphyxiation associated with foul play. That's not even the worst of it. It's what she didn't die from that is mind boggling. Bless her heart, she had been tortured! Aleesa had lived with various injuries in addition to broken ribs and other broken bones.I had a cracked rib once. I couldn't laugh, cough, or even sleep well for three to four weeks. It absolutely breaks my heart to think of the misery this precious baby endured. No visits to the doctor. No pain medication. What a strong little girl she was to have survived as long as she did. I had no idea she was living such a life.Still, this case has not been brought to trial. Can you imagine someone in your family being murdered and no justice being served after this length of time? I just don't understand. I do realize that a trial will not bring Aleesa Jade back.Aleesa will never have a first day of school, trips to the zoo or water park. She will never have a first kiss or a date to the prom. She will not graduate from high school and college. Aleesa will never get married and have children and grandchildren. This was all taken from her and her families.I have total solace knowing that she is in Heaven with Jesus and other family members that have gone before her. I do know that if the person responsible for her death never sees punishment on this earth, this person will be punished by The Judge of all judges!When I see sweet little girls in my Pre-K and Kindergarten class, I can't help but think of Aleesa. Would she have wanted a pink Hello Kitty backpack or would she have wanted one with Justin Bieber on it? Would her hair still be blonde? Short? Long? What would have been her favorite color of clothes to wear?I still visit the clothing section for little girls in various stores and shops. I go to the size that I imagine she would be if she were still alive. I choose adorable outfits for someone who no longer has need for such earthly possessions. Aleesa will remain in my heart forever, and I hope justice is soon served. The Koepp and Lane families have been very cooperative, patient, and quiet during this whole ordeal. But now it's time for us to speak up.
Linda Marie LaneBrownwood, TX