Dameian “Luke” Gulley

Photo of Dameian Gulley, an adolescent boy with fair skin and curly brown hair, standing in front of some leafy branches.Name: Dameian “Luke” Gulley
Died: November 18, 2013
Age at death: 14
Cause of death: Asphyxia
Location: Visalia, California, USA

Details:
From Luke’s obituary:
“Dameian was kind, caring, loving, and trusting. He had such a big heart. He enjoyed soccer, video games, marbles, basketball, football, reading, crafts, and helping others. Dameian often volunteered his time at a nursing home in Tulare, CA where he would call out Bingo and paint fingernails. He would also dance to the music of Michael Jackson to put a smile on people’s faces. Dameian received the nickname “Luke” from his Grandpa John when he was just a few months old. The nickname came from the Star Wars movies and just sort of stuck. Luke will be missed dearly.”

Fourteen-year-old Luke lived with his mother, stepfather, and siblings. Like most autistics, he kept to a routine, which included walking to school every morning. When he didn’t show up at school, police treated Luke as a runaway–even though his mother insisted he wouldn’t have deviated from his usual route.

Four days later, Luke’s body was found dumped in a ravine in Sequoia National Park; he had been murdered, and suspicion fell on Luke’s stepfather, who had once had a job which involved driving a shuttle bus to the park. Police had been called twice when Luke’s stepfather became angry at the boy.

Luke’s stepfather was convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years to life.

References:
Tulare County judge sentences Visalia man to 25 years to life for murder of stepson
Dameian Gulley: Obituary
Stepfather arrested in Gulley’s death
‘We knew we had foul play’
Visalia step-father arrested for the murder of 14-year-old Damiean “Luke” Gulley
Stepfather Left Voice Mail Asking for Help
Central California man arrested in stepson’s death

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