Kind, empathetic, caring, comical, pure
Sam was a kind, loyal and loving soul, with a sympathetic, non-judging attitude and a fierce love for his family. He was goofy and funny but also compassionate and naïve. He loved with all his heart and even when struggling himself, was always there for his friends.
Sam’s passion was skateboarding, his mother Carol said: “His many broken bones showed his progress!” He also loved music from rap to rock. He did tattoos illegally and was so good at it his mother encouraged him to seek the training and licensure to do it for a living. In the meantime he worked at restaurants doing anything from line-cook to dishwasher.
Sam was also quite the comic, often without realizing it. In middle school he took a caterpillar from a kid who was mistreating it and put it high on a tree. When he told the story to his mum she asked: “One day what will that caterpillar be?” He thoughtfully replied: “Thanking me for savings its life!”
Carol says: “I knew that Sam was smoking pot, but it wasn’t until after he went missing that I learned he was doing heroin.” He started heroin after breaking his leg skateboarding and when the doctor stopped prescribing painkillers. She noticed that Sam was lying and stealing and was less involved with the people who cared about him, but wasn’t sure why.
On June 29, 2018, Sam went missing. “He wasn’t a person who could disappear and start a fresh life, so I knew it wasn’t going to end well,” Carol said, “But even after eight months of preparing myself for the worst, I still wasn’t ready to hear he was gone.” Sam never got to fulfill his dream of spending more time with his son and of traveling to Japan.
His mum misses his carefree attitude toward life, his hugs and him saying “It’s ok Mum,” because now it is definitely not ok. Carol says: “I will never get over losing him. Every day is a struggle just to paint a smile on my face and pretend I am all right.”
Sam’s mother, Carol Mejia, provided the information for this narrative.
August 30, 1992–June 29, 2018
Age 25–Lived with addiction one year