Tormented by Strangers


 

 

 
"Nikki was a free-spirited, polite, sweet young lady. Absolutely a great daughter," says Christos.

"She was always surprising us and amazing us," Leslie, Nikki's mother, adds. "She wanted to teach her sisters how not to make any of the mistakes that she would make growing up."

Their lives were changed forever October 31, 2006.

Lesli recalls that they had lunch as a family, then Christos left for work. "Nikki went upstairs to take a shower, and I just saw the garage door slam shut. She drove away smiling, almost like, 'I'll be right back,'" Lesli recalls.

"My wife called me and in my gut, I felt that something had happened to Nikki," Christos says. Their daughter was in a horrific car accident. "I drove to where the accident was. While I was standing there, they were actually lifting up the car, and I fell to the ground. They painted a picture for us " that Nikki had severe head trauma. The sergeant on duty just said, 'Remember her beautiful, smiling face. That's the way that you need to remember her.'"

Within days after the accident, photos of the scene appeared online. There were close ups of Nikki's nearly decapitated head. Allegedly, the pictures got out when a California Highway Patrol dispatcher e-mailed them to friends. They then spread throughout the Internet.

"Somebody had put up a MySpace page, saying that they were Nikki. Everybody in our family received these photographs through MySpace â€" very close-up, colored shots. They were very intense and graphic," Lesli shares.

"Nikki's been called some of the worst names I think anybody could call any individual " everything from the C word that deserved to die to a whore," Christos says. "When people are trolling, I wonder if they really realize that the things they are saying are about someone's child."

"The photos have been on thousands of websites. Every time I look at a computer, I fear that I'm going to see the photographs of my daughter," Lesli reveals. "I guess I would have said that burying my child was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, until I saw those photos and saw what happened to her."

"Why would anybody want to share such horrific, graphic pictures with other individuals?" Christos asks. "I think the saddest thing for me is that I still hope that Nikki is going to come home."
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