Four months after husband’s murder, young widow speaks out

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LIZTON — Four months after her husband died in a Craigslist purchase gone bad, a young widow is speaking out for change in the community.

Before Jim Vester’s death in December, violence was the last thing on his wife Jamie’s mind.

“(I) paid attention to it but it didn’t really … hit me until … it actually happened. Now I’m very aware of everything that’s been going on,” Jamie Vester said.

Sgt. First Class Jim Vester, who served in the Indiana National Guard, was answering a Craigslist ad to buy an iPad as a Christmas present. Two teenage brothers were later charged with ambushing Vester, shooting and killing him.

“Jim was always helping people and he still is, because this story is still going,” Jamie said.

Not only has his story showed the dangers of buying online, but it’s changing now, pushing Jamie to reach out.

That became even more clear after recent violence left other women in the same position. In particular, Jamie reached out to Jennifer Trapuzzano, whose husband Nathan was murdered on his daily walk April 1.

“She is the only person who knows what I went through  and I know what she’s going through,” Vester said.

In mementos and photos, even more than the typical family since Jamie is a wedding photographer, she still has Jim with her. She especially remembers his great cooking and loud, lovable personality.

“Jim was a big storyteller. He could tell any story and it would be really funny,” Vester said.

Now, it’s become her story. One she’s using to bring this message to you: reach out, be a mentor and help change your community.

“I’m really calling out to the males to get out there and mentor those boys and maybe we could prevent some of this violence,” Vester said. “Every single person could use somebody to love them and be there for them.”

To see more of Jamie’s message, read her recent blog post here.

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