Clovis News

1999 murder victim from Clovis recalled

At the Clovis Cemetery, Aundria Crawford's tombstone features a photo of her sandwiched by images of ballet slippers and a barrel-racing horse.

While those engravings offer clues to Crawford's joys in life, the epitaph below suggests a grim ending.

"Though taken in darkness, you will live in light forever," the marker reads.

Ten years ago, Crawford was abducted from her San Luis Obispo apartment in the middle of the night. Her remains were found April 23, 1999, near the rural home of her killer.

Rex Krebs, a sex offender living in Avila Valley, was convicted in 2001 of killing Crawford and another 20-year-old San Luis Obispo college student, Rachel Newhouse. He was sentenced to die. While Krebs will likely live at least 15 more years on death row as his appeals are heard, his victims live in memory only.

"I am angry, bitter, sad," Crawford's mother, Gail Eberhart, wrote in an e-mail. "I cry almost every day. I never listen to music any more unless someone else happens to have it on."

Even after a decade, Newhouse's parents have chosen not to publicly discuss the case. (They've also never spoken to Eberhart.) Eberhart chose to answer questions only via e-mail.

"I have gone into hiding, I guess," wrote Eberhart, who moved from Clovis to Washington state after her daughter was murdered. "I have no new friends. I rarely or never see old friends. I live with my mom and finally went back to work a little over a year ago."

Eberhart called police March 12, 1999, when pages to her daughter went unanswered. Soon afterward, Crawford was determined to be missing, and Eberhart and her mother temporarily moved to the area to search for her. They looked under bridges and in trash heaps, to no avail.

Today, Eberhart said, she constantly thinks about the everyday experiences she shared with her daughter.

"I will never get to hug her again," she wrote.

She said her daughter was a kind person who didn't judge people.

"She always wanted to help others first. Just like the student that was on crutches that told her story about how Aundria was the only person that stopped and helped her carry her books to class even though it would make Aundria late to her class. She always had time to stop and help someone else."

Crawford liked monster trucks, animals and country music. As a student at Bullard High School, she struggled, though she eventually overcame academic problems and attended Fresno City College and then Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo County.

Crawford studied interior design at Cuesta with plans to transfer to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She dreamed of owning a horse ranch in Wyoming.

"She would have married, had children and a career," Eberhart wrote. "She had written a paper for a class there at Cuesta outlining all of this."