Those who loved her want people to dress colorfully, not somberly, as they remember the life of Aimee Eddington-Crawford, the Oakdale resident found dead May 1, a victim of homicide.
For a celebration of life to be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the Oakdale Rodeo Grounds clubhouse, "dress in colors that represent Aimee's BRIGHT personality," organizer Katelyn Hasley posted on the Facebook event page.
"Aimee was warm, otherworldly smart and deep," Oakdale resident Hasley told The Bee about her friend. "She shared her soulful wisdom with those she knew, and her smile and laugh were contagious. She loved to throw extravagant costume parties and initiated more random pajama dance parties with the kids (young and grown) than anyone can count. She was the light in the room."
That light was extinguished sometime before family members found the 40-year-old dead in a home on the 13000 block of Horseshoe Road east of Oakdale.
A Modesto man, 54-year-old William Thomas Schendel, has been charged with her murder. The charge includes two enhancements, according to the criminal complaint against Schendel: first, that he acted with premeditation, and second, that he used a deadly weapon, a candle holder, to kill Eddington-Crawford.
Schendel remained hospitalized at least as of Wednesday for major injuries he suffered in a crash on Highway 120 in the Escalon area the morning of May 1. Less than eight hours later, Eddington-Crawford's body was found. Schendel's arraignment in Stanislaus County Superior Court has been rescheduled for May 14.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department has released no information on a suspected motive in the homicide and any relationship between Eddington-Crawford and Schendel. There are indications on social media that her murder was a case of domestic violence. Hasley shared on Facebook a link to a Helpguide.org article on "Recognizing the signs of an abusive relationship and getting help."
Eddington-Crawford's sister-in-law said Thursday that Schendel was Aimee's boyfriend.
Eddington-Crawford, whose Facebook page says she went to Oakdale High, was the mother of three children, ages 10, 12 and 14. "Though her kids were the center of her universe, she was mama Aimee to her friends and her friends' kids, too," Hasley said. "There was always enough love in Aimee to go around. She brought life to the conversation. She went above and beyond for her loved ones. She was an incredible artist and sprinkled everything she touched with her creative charm."