The last time Crudup spoke to her aunt, Jackie Crudup, the 26-year-old said she planned to go back to community college to finish her degree. She wanted to be a role model for her children, Crudup said.
"She was a fantastic, excellent mother," Crudup said. "She was always talking about her kids."
The two spoke of everyday things -- their plans, taking their respective kids to the amusement park. The next day, Shakita Crudup was dead.
Police say her boyfriend, William McMillin, Jr., shot her in the head early in the morning of June 14, while two of Crudup's young children were in the house sleeping, and placed the gun in her hand to make it look like Crudup had killed herself.
Crudup died later that morning at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey.
Ever since his mother died, Cordel Little seemed a little lonely and somber, his family said.
He drifted from family member to family member, living with aunts and uncles and his grandmother.
"He was a little, lonely boy," his grandmother Clara Little said. "We would go to his mother's grave and he said he wished he was with his mother."
On June 14, Little, 18, may have gotten his wish. He was shot and killed near his Akron, Ohio, home after he was caught in the crossfire when his cousin and a cousin's friend got into a fight and started shooting, Little's uncle, John, said. The three had been drinking, Clara Little said.
Brenda Little, Cordel's aunt who helped raise him, said Cordel liked to listen to music and gamble and spend time with his family. "He didn't bother anybody," she said. "He was a sweet boy."
She said the family still doesn't know what started the argument that killed her nephew.