Family and friends gathered Monday evening in the town of Traer to grieve and show support for a family that lost a 12-year-old daughter. Liesel Casto was killed in an accident Saturday as she prepared to go deer hunting with her parents.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources reports a muzzleloader rifle discharged as it was being loaded. A neighbor of the Casto family, Thad Espenscheid, spoke with KCRG-TV. “It’s a huge shock. It’s one of (those) jaw-dropping moments you hope you never hear,” Espenscheid said.
Liesel’s church youth group organized a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for the family. Liesel’s uncle, Steve Staker, and her aunt, Gloria Whisner, remember Liesel as a girl who was full of energy and always had a smile on her face. “She was such a lover of nature and it was just the fact that she loved to be outdoors,” Staker said. “She loved life and enjoyed doing things with the family and just loved what she was doing and put everything into it,” Whisner added.
North Tama County Community School District Superintendent Bob Cue met with Liesel’s parents on Monday. “It’s tough. They are in shock. It’s a horrible thing,” Cue said. “It’s a tragedy. It’s a small town and we are like a family.” Liesel’s parents are Joshua and Joie Casto. They own Casto Armory, a gun shop in Traer.
A memorial fund has been established at the Farmers Savings Bank in Traer. Anyone interested in helping can simply mail a donation to the bank with a note that it’s for the Liesel Casto Memorial Account.
By Jill Kasperie, KCRG-TV