The last conversation Tara Funk-Haslam had with her daughter was an argument, one like so many others they had shared in recent months: The 13-year-old girl wanted to leave to meet someone she wouldn't say who but her mom didn't want her out after dark.
Jessica Funk-Haslam left the apartment Monday night anyway. She never returned.
Two days later, homicide detectives were still struggling to retrace the final hours before she was killed in a baseball dugout at Rosemont Community Park sometime Monday night or Tuesday morning.
At daybreak, a passer-by found her crumpled body in the dugout, within yards of Albert Einstein Middle School, where she was an eighth-grader. She was still wearing the zebra-striped jacket with fur-lined hood in which her mother saw her leave.
Detectives have not been able to identify whom Funk-Haslam left home to see that night, nor have they pinpointed who might have been with her at the park. It's a difficult task, they said, sorting through the many stories swirling among young teens.
They remain undeterred.
"This one hits close to home to all of us in our profession," said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Barnes, head of the homicide unit.
As the investigation continued, dozens of friends and classmates gathered at the park for a vigil Wednesday evening. Some said they didn't know Funk-Haslam, but came anyway to pay their respects to a young and vulnerable member of their community.
"People are definitely impacted by this," said Marcel McCain, 17, who had never met Funk-Haslam. "I know I am."
Those who knew the girl remembered her as someone kind and cheerful, whose favorite colors were pink, black and white.
"She was quiet, until you got to know her," said Breanna Patterson, 15, who attended middle school with Funk-Haslam last year. "She was fun to be around. She most of the time had a smile on her face."
A small memorial, with flickering candles, balloons and bouquets of lilies and carnations, grew behind the visitors dugout where Funk-Haslam's body was found. A poster carried messages of love.
"I cry at night because you are gone. I will miss you forever and always," one teen wrote. Another: "You didn't deserve to die like that."
Garrett Kirkland, principal at Albert Einstein Middle School, attended the vigil. He said the school day had been a tough one grief counselors were on hand, and students made cards and posters for the girl's family. But he said it was an important step in the healing process.
Student leaders were busy planning a lunchtime memorial for Funk-Haslam, to be held Friday. Others mentioned a candlelight vigil scheduled for tonight.
Parent Kesha York-Jenkins said her son rode the bus with Funk-Haslam every day. She said he hadn't wanted to go to school Wednesday, but she thought it was important for him to be with friends.
"It's a horrible thing for 12-, 13-, 14-year-olds to wrap their minds around," she said.
She and other parents said Funk-Haslam's death has made them more vigilant, prompting conversations with their children about walking in groups. Wednesday morning, York-Jenkins decided to drive her son to school, and picked up four other teens she saw along the way.
"I just felt like, with the circumstances we really need to keep an eye on each other's kids," she said.
Teens, too, expressed fear in the wake of the killing. The toll of Funk-Haslam's death has been heightened by rumors, particularly about how she died.
The Sacramento County Coroner's Office has not released a cause of death, and sheriff's detectives have declined to discuss her injuries. Detective Paul Belli said that has been helpful in separating valid information from exaggeration and rumor.
Belli said the community has been forthcoming with tips but that none has proved a linchpin of the case.
Kirkland, the principal, described Funk-Haslam as friendly, with a vibrant personality and style. "It didn't take long to notice her on the quad," he said.
Friends agreed that Funk-Haslam "stood out," in part because of brightly colored clothes some said were her trademark; a few felt she had been teased or bullied for being different.
Funk-Haslam's mother described her daughter as happy, but said she had worried that her daughter did not seem to have many friends. She said she would ask her daughter what her friends' names were, so she could get to know them, but that her daughter never told her.
In the last few months, mother and daughter began arguing more frequently about the girl's desire to go out, Tara Funk-Haslam said. She thought maybe Jessica was making more friends.
Thursday night, she said she was shocked to see how many people had loved her daughter. It warmed her heart and broke it.
"People are coming out when she's gone, instead of when she's here," she said through tears. "It does hurt that it took something this tragic to bring people together."