OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — An Oakland mother on Thursday pleaded with the public for any leads that could help investigators solve her daughter’s brutal homicide.
On March 31st, investigators found Anika Crane’s body stuffed in the trunk of her own car that was found abandoned near a 7-Eleven convenience store at the intersection of Liberty Street and 159th Avenue in the unincorporated part of San Leandro.
“She (was) a people person. She loved people. And she’d do anything for you,” said her mother Anita Cole.
She described her daughter as kind, loving, and responsible. So when the warehouse supervisor missed work on March 24th, her mother knew something bad had happened. Crane had never missed work.
“I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t think straight for nothing. I couldn’t get it together,” said Cole.
A week later, police discovered her abandoned car, a 2018 gray Ford Fiesta sedan, outside of San Leandro. Investigators said her body was stuffed in the trunk.
Cole said what was even harder to accept was the person police arrested. Detectives arrested and later released the victim’s 65-year-old boyfriend. Investigators said they needed more evidence to give the case to prosecutors.
The family did not initially approve the relationship due to the age gap — Crane was 32 years old, only half her boyfriend’s age. But out of love for her, the family said they later embraced him.
“She started a new job. She got this new car. And she was talking about moving out of Oakland. [The boyfriend] couldn’t accept that.[The boyfriend] couldn’t accept her getting her independence and being on her own. If I can’t have her, nobody can,” said Crane’s cousin, Jasmine Shivers.
“A lot of crying. A lot of anger. A lot of wanting to go find him and just hurt him as bad as he hurt her, you know? But that’s not going to solve anything,” said Cole.
The family said Anika died from blunt force trauma to her head and neck. They and Oakland investigators are hoping anyone with information, no matter how little, will come forward.
“Anybody that lived on 159 and Liberty, if you’ve got a Ring door bell, if you’ve seen that car, if you’ve seen anything, pleas just like turn it in,” said Shivers.
“I just want that justice. I want the justice because her death was wrongful. It was brutal,” said Cole.