STANFORD - Jody Elliott, 26, pulled a sunken 1963 Volkswagen Beetle out of the mud at his parents' place and with it came a flood of memories.
His brother, Jeff McQueen, was killed by a hit-and-run driver in 1985 at the young age of 15, just a year after his parents bought him the car. The case has never been solved, and after Jeff's death, the bright blue Beetle was put away in a shed, never to be driven again.
"The mud was so deep that roots were growing out from between the tires and wheels," Elliott says.
The car was always known to be off limits to him and his friends, kind of an unspoken taboo, Elliott says.
But he realized that Jeff would not have wanted it to sit and rot, unused. He and his stepdad waited until December, when the mud was frozen, and pulled the car out with a tractor.