Reflecting Back on April 12, 1985…

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Re-sharing last years blog about April 12, 1985…

Today marks a significant anniversary in my life. It is a day that is forever etched in my mind, a day to reflect and a day to be thankful for.

On September 17, 1984, my 8 year old sister, Vicki Lynne Hoskinson, disappeared from our neighborhood. She had gone on her bike to mail a birthday card to our Aunt Lori for our mom. When she didn’t come home, I road my bike to find her. At that time, being 11, there was no doubt in my mind that she had stopped off at a neighbors or was playing with kids from the neighborhood and had lost track of time. We lived in a community and time when you left the house, played outside & people watched out for each other. Kids didn’t just disappear, and if they did it happened on T.V. and not on your street, let alone to your sister.

Vicki had been gone 6 months, 26 days…. or 207 days total. 

April 12, 1985 was a friday, and I was sitting in Mr. Abrams 6th grade core class. When the door opened and one of the ladies from the office walked in, I knew she was there for me.  Mr. Abrams paused, looking down and then up at me. He squeaked out the the words that I needed to gather my things and go to the office.

I sat in the yellow polyester cushioned chair against the windows that looked down the sidewalk and out into the parking lot. I was 11, and trying to understand the world that I had been thrusted into so many months before. There, in the office of the junior high school, everyone was quiet, and working just as hard at keeping it together as they were trying to act like they were working.

I can not tell you how long I sat in that chair in the window, but I knew when I looked over my left shoulder and saw my parents walking down the sidewalk it’s as if the world stopped.

They had found my sister….

Today, 28 years, 6 months and 26 days later, I can close my eyes and remember that day. The warmth of the Arizona sun through the window in the office, the look first on Mr. Abrams face, then on that of my parents, and the feeling of despair by those who surrounded me.

There are no words to express how incredibly grateful I am for the man who went looking for his dog that day and stumbled upon her remains, for at least we could have closure and lay her to rest.

If I had a penny for every time I thanked him, and those who gave so unconditionally those months we searched for her I would have enough money to buy the world.

Today, I miss Vicki just the same as I have in the 28 1/2 years it has been since she was taken from us. And I appreciate how incredibly blessed I have been in my journey between here and there…

Favorite picture of Vicki & I

Favorite picture of Vicki & I


  1. Eva McGlone says

    I can understand how thankful you must be for that man walking his dog. As bad as it is, so happy they found your dear sister, Vicki..The pain of never knowing where she was would have been so much worse for all of you..The Lord wanted you to have the peace of knowing where she was. God Bless you all!

    • Eva… All our love to you and Bob, I appreciate your words, your prayers and the journey you have walked with us. ~Steph

  2. My tears and heart are with you. I admire your strength and courage on how you look at life. Luv U my friend!

    • Allene Hougland says

      I cannot imagine the depth of your love or feelings of loss for your sister. I just pray that GOD will continue to give you the grace to see you through.

      • Allene, Thank you… your prayers are so appreciated, we are constantly comforted by our faith and the amazing support by so many like yourself! ~Stephanie

    • I don’t know you, but you have touched me. I am sorry for the loss and the pain you must have felt and still do, but, am grateful that you were able to lay her to rest. May the angels be with her and your family, always.

      • Thank you so very much Catie… You do not know how much it means to me to know that I have touched your heart! All my love~ Stephanie

    • Love you Krista!

  3. Beautifully, beautifully written. Peace to you and your family until you see her again.

  4. Lisa schuh says

    Thank you for sharing. You write so well, it brings me back in time. Having five daughters, I think about your sister often. Love and prayers to you! Lisa schuh

    • Lisa … All my love to you and your beautiful girls. Your friendship and support so many years later means more to me than you will ever know! ~Steph

  5. Debbie Cillitto says

    My sweet Steph, I to remember that day . I pray you find comfort inI knowing there are so many of us who will always have her in our hearts.i know that my family and myself will never forget our precious Vicki Lynne! The Cillitto family. The Cobb family and the Drennan family

    • Thank you Fred… without your love and support we would never be where we are today. We are so blessed! All my love~Steph

  6. Diane Love says

    As I sit and read your updates you post, my heart aches for you and your family. I have seen Deb at her lowest point and I can be thankful that the Lord has given each of you strength to continue on your journey. Grief never goes away, nor does the pain. My tears flow feeling the pain of losing a child and not getting to watch them grow up and have their family. We will continue to pray for strength for each of you and blessings.

    • Thank you so much Diane for taking the time to share your support on our journey. Knowing that you have been a friend to my mom, and continue to pray for our family while we endure this process is important and means the world to us! Your friendship, love and prayers mean so very much!
      All my love,

  7. Stephanie Ewing says

    I have my sincerest condolences for your family. I grew up and live in Tucson and recently watched the forensic files episode. My mother pregnant with me at the time and lived in that neighborhood. It is never easy to lose a loved one let alone the way you all have. You truly have all my admiration and love to have become the wonderful people you are.

  8. Janet Herman says

    Your sister’s story touched so many of us, I still remember exactly how I felt to hear she was missing, and I didn’t even know her or your family. She was a friend of my niece, Sandy, but I didn’t know that at the time. My heart went out to your family that day and has been with all of you ever since. ❤️

  9. Lana Galbraith says

    As someone whose younger brother was murdered, I am so sorry for your loss. Hopefully, you can celebrate her life.

  10. Sisters… As a mom of 2 girls and as a sister, my heart aches reading this.

  11. Loretta Tooley says

    We had just moved to Tucson when your sister went missing. It was a sad time, our feeling of helplessness and fear for her. God bless you and your family.

  12. Cecilia Fields says

    Stephanie this day and that day in September will be days that are on the hearts and
    Minds of so many who knew your family. After high school acquaintances drift apart. Best friends stay together and friends and wondering how they are stay in your mind! When I first heard Vicki was missing I was stopped dead in my tracks. Like everyone who knew your Mom, especially as the days went by, tears flowed freely. Becoming a frantic Mom not leaving my boys out of sight. Glued to every bit of News I could get by calling my old work buddies at TPD to having my Mom call my cousin who worked for PCSO. Days turned to months and by February 1985 I had moved to another State. I remember this day when my Mom called and told me they found Vicki. I was devastated for all of you. How could this have happened to an innocent child and the daughter of an old school friend. One you remember as always being sweet and kind. My Mom and Dad knew to call me because every long distance phone call was “before I hang up, have you heard anything about Debbie’s daughter Vicki”. My bestie, El, your Mom knows her too, we’d talk and wonder always if it was someone who knew your family. What I can best say, is I am just one of many hundreds who sat and worried and fretted and prayed those days. Finding Vicki was not an end to those feelings. My heart still races when I think of all that your family has been through. I’m writing to let you know that friends never forget! Vicki will always be a part of so very many!!! Please hug your family for me!!

  13. Michelle Jeffries says

    I will always remember the day that Vicki went missing. Her abduction changed the way things were from then on. We used to be able to play outside from sun up to sundown and never had a care in the world.
    I pray that soon there will be justice for that sweet girl. Stay strong! Love and prayers to you.