According to Kim

Remembering Joshua

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Facebook Shows Well-Liked College Kid Who Loved Music

Autopsy results on the body pulled from the Hudson River yesterday haven’t yet been released, but friends and family of 21-year-old Joshua Szostak have already begun grieving in earnest — confronted with the hard reality of Szostak’s death, but relieved to finally begin the process of closure.

Joshua’s father, Bill Szostak, spoke to CBS 6’s Michelle Marsh last night and to CBS 6’s Teresa Priolo this morning, and though he declined to speak on camera at the time, he said the family was still in shock and trying to process the discovery of Joshua’s body.

While the family begins their path to closure, Joshua Szostak remains almost eerily alive in cyberspace. His Facebook profile shows his favorite activities, movies and music listed enthusiastically and haphazardly — as if they were bound to be changed next month in the typically fickle manner of a college student with evolving interests.

It’s an awkward juxtaposition to the Facebook “Wall” just below, which has become a community grieving place of sorts; a convenient cyber-location for friends to gather and variously convey disbelief, relief, regret and confusion.

But there, too, were the memories — humorous, bittersweet, and recalled fondly.

“Thanks for bringing me to my first concert,” wrote one friend. “Thanks for always being a true friend thru the maplewood years and always keeping in touch since. Thanks for loving the sox with me and hating the yanks together. Thanks for the long AIM conversations til 4 in morning. Thanks for being a part of my life and leaving a lasting imprint.”

“You were an amazing guy, with all the laughs and red sox/yankee bashing,” wrote another. “Radio shows and parties. You were a swell guy, and will never be forgotten. I love and miss you forever”

“you’ll be missed, josh. you were always a sweet, caring, selfless person,” another post read. “no one could ever forget you.”

The messages frequently address Joshua himself, calling him “Stag” — presumably his nickname. And as if the discovery of the body suddenly lifted the cloud of uncertainty surrounding his disappearance, the messages frequently express a fierce resolve to keep the memory of their friend alive — no longer as a mysterious missing person case, but as a young man whose music-, sports- and party-filled life was cut tragically short.

“Stag, I just want to say thanks for coming home, although it wasn’t in the condition we wanted you to be,” wrote one friend. “So many good memories and good times and I thank you for them all. You will never be forgotten.”

“We will find the people who did this to you,” the post continued. 

Joshua’s father said he hoped the autopsy will shed light on how exactly his son died. Szostak has maintained that Joshua was abducted and killed, and had even offered reward money during the search for his son.

“A reward, it just seems to motivate people, and any information that can bring my son home, it’s just a closure,” Szostak told CBS 6’s Marci Natale back in December.

“I don’t want to wind up [being] one of those cases where you never know where your child is,” he’d added at the time.


Written by Kim

April 23, 2008 at 1:39 pm

Posted in Joshua Szostak

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