There can never be a good time to deal with your only son's slaying. But for Debbie Craft, the timing of events seems especially cruel.
Her son, Kevin "Ziggy" Craft, was found shot to death in the parking lot of the Rohnert Park Best Western Hotel on April 22, a week before his 21st birthday. She had already bought his gift — a framed poster of Johnny Cash. And last Sunday, of course, was her first Mother's Day without him.
Her grief, though, has been raised — however slightly — by her son's friends, who've thrown themselves into helping Craft, her husband and their daughter Camille, 23.
On Kevin's birthday, they presented the family with $2,000 raised during two days of car washes to cover expenses. On Mother's Day, two friends brought flowers while five others presented her with a slender heart-shaped pendant bejeweled with tiny diamonds.
She was wearing the necklace Monday at the latest of the friends' events, a fund-raiser at Escape Paintball in Rohnert Park, though the company was better than any cash raised.
"I have very low days," she said. "The best times are whenever I'm around his friends. It's time alone that starts eating at you."
What happened to her son remains a mystery. His body was found around 8 a.m. on April 22, with at least one bullet wound to his chest.
Rohnert Park detectives quickly began pursuing leads. The same day Craft's body was found Rohnert Park detectives collaborated with about 40 police officers, including SWAT members, in Citrus Heights to search an apartment in the suburb near Sacramento.
Then officers released video showing persons of interest, recorded at a local convenience store at 6:20 a.m. the day of the killing. One was identified as Kimberly Monet Christian, also from Citrus Heights.
Since then, however, detectives have divulged little about the state of their investigation.
"We are still following up on the leads that are from the tape and on those persons of interest," said Lt. Jeff Taylor with the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety.
Debbie Craft doesn't recognize the faces in the video from the vast group of friends who were always around her house, including some who had no home for the time being.
She said her son — who worked part-time in her husband's printing business and planned to attend Santa Rosa Junior College — left in her car around 6:50 a.m that day, saying he was going to pick up a friend and would be back in time for her to go to work. She knew something was wrong when he didn't return, but didn't find out he was dead until that evening.
"It is very important to me to find out more answers," she said.