Dateline   |  January 03, 2014

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> on the afternoon of may 4th , 2012 , casey duenas walked out onto the field for the start of his very favorite thing, high school baseball, a double header. spring was in its full glory here in northern california . his senior year was almost done. this was the place he loved, the game he loved. people sometimes talk about having premonitions of things. did you have anything like that at all?

>> it was just another day, it was just another one of my countless baseball games, countless baseball games.

>> wasn't of course, though no one knew it as though wiled their way through a golden afternoon. redding, california, with its famous sun dial bridge, its parks, its middle america feel, is a whole different place, a different life than the california whose reputation bla blares technicolor from the narcissism to the south. drive a few minutes from redding and you're on the ball tie lodiamond at a little place called cotton cottonwood, here at the anchor of mt. shasta, just like they knew their mother would be in the stands. they were there?

>> both of them.

>> always there?

>> always there, never missed a game.

>> his parents, mark and campaign duenas, side by side by the dugout, as always.

>> they were together since they were, what, 17 years old?

>> they practically lived in each other's skin?

>> exactly.

>> his mother had brought the chocolate chip cookies she passed out to the players after every game and for which she was justly famous. his father made sure he finished work in time for the opening pitch. what kind of parents were they?

>> they were the best parents that you could ask for.

>> this is jason , their eldest son, and here the photo of jason 's graduation with his proud parents the day he became a fireman.

>> they would do anything for us and they did.

>> mark and karen were from big mormon families, high school sweethearts who married as teenagers and watched their own brood quickly expand, all boys, jason , jacob, tyler , troy and casey , boys bursting with testosterone.

>> it was a rowdy house. we had football games inside the house. we were egged on by our parents and they loved it.

>> karen was a full time mom and once the boys were old enough, taught part-time at nearby shasta college . for decades mark got up at 2:00 a.m . to drive for u.p.s., just because it freed him to coach his sons' teams come afternoon and to spare his wife middle of the night disruption mark slept in a separate bedroom, had for years.

>> my tad treated her better than anybody could treat their wife. my mom was the queen.

>> they lived simply. they lived paycheck to paycheck. they never had a lot extra.

>> son tyler . for them it was all about family?

>> yes, always.

>> they all stayed as close as any family could be, when jason got married, he moved into the house right next door. helped celebrate mark and karen 's silver wedding anniversary as they all did. by 2012 , they were grandparents many times over, had been married nearly 33 years.

>> one thing i always looked up to and loved about their relationship was that they still dated.

>> tyler 's wife, tina.

>> after that long, sometimes you can lose that, and i never saw them lose that.

>> but change does come for everyone and by 2012 in their early 50s, mark and karen were making some changes. karen went back to school, nursing school .

>> this was a plan that they had talked about?

>> it was the perfect situation. she got to stay home with the kids all growing up, and now she was ready to start her career. if you think about it, a pretty dang good plan. he worked his whole life, he could start his own business while collecting a pension, and then she would, you know, start her career in nursing.

>> not so easy, of course, nursing school is a tough thing, and not just for karen , either. her brother, joe and wife, jackie.

>> well her commitments changed, having grandma there when you need her or having mom there when you need her, she's going to have to study.

>> and she was struggling with the classes. she felt like she should be doing better but i remember a text that said "i just got back from the er and got the chance to work with people finally and i love it." so she was on her way. she was really on her way.

>> so that may the 4th casey joined his parents at home after his ball game . then, it being friday night, he and a friend went to see a movie "the avengers."

>> started up at 9:15, and told my parents everything was fine.

>> do you remember the last thing you said to your mom?

>> she handed me a $20 bill and i thanked her and hugged her good-bye.

>> it was late when casey returned, and almost immediately fell asleep. then what do you remember next?

>> put my head on the pillow and two seconds later dad is at the door freaking out.

>> and seconds later --

>> 911, your emergency?