Josh Carstairs was born on February 16, 1998, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to Eddie and Marla Carstairs. Neither Eddie nor Marla was employed. The couple married when Marla got pregnant.
Eddie was counting on the baby to get a considerable increase in the government assistance he and Marla received. The increase was not what he expected, and when Josh was three months old, Eddie went to the store for diapers and never returned.
Unable to afford housing for herself and her infant son, Marla couch-surfed from family member to family member. Once she had burned through her relatives, she hopped from shelter to shelter. Marla worked as a waitress during those periods of time when she could not qualify for government assistance.
Josh was not consistently enrolled in school, and the longest he attended any one school was four months. He learned to read by studying restaurant menus, and other than simple addition and subtraction, Josh never learned math.
Since he was seldom around anyone long enough to form friendships, Josh always felt like an outsider. By the time he turned twelve, he was truly a loner.
Josh was big for his age and looked older than he was. At thirteen, he started lying about his age so he could work odd jobs whenever possible. He kept the money for himself. At fourteen, he stumbled into landscape work, which he actually enjoyed.
Being vagrant made it impossible for Josh to date. Instead, he created a rich fantasy life where he imagined he was in relationships with movie stars and recording artists.
As soon as Josh turned eighteen, he went off on his own. He supported himself with landscaping jobs while continuing his itinerant lifestyle.
Josh arrived in Oxford eight months ago. In that time he has worked for three different landscaping companies.