ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – For skaters in Albuquerque, it’s their home away from home. The Los Altos Skate Park is where they’ve made friends they call family — friends like Cody Raver.
“He was a very energetic dude, never really down,” said close friend, Cody Langdon.
In April, police say Raver was killed by Steven Beck. They say he accused a group of men at the park of selling drugs to kids. A fight broke out, and they say Beck shot Raver.
“It actually hit the community really, really hard, especially for the skateboarding community. He knew a lot of people,” said Langdon.
So, he built a handmade cross, a memorial to Raver. It was placed at the south entrance to the skate park, but a few days ago, it disappeared.
“I’m feeling very heartbroken and very upset as well, because I just think people shouldn’t touch stuff like that. Just leave it alone,” he said.
The city’s Parks and Rec Department says its crews didn’t remove it, although city ordinance forbids markers like it from being placed in public parks.
“Typically we leave those alone, unless it’s in the way of maintenance or if it’s unsafe,” said Mark Chavez, Parks and Rec Superintendent.
Chavez did say, however, the department has a memorial program to get a memorial bench or tribute tree put in. “People want to memorialize their loved ones, and fortunately, we provide that opportunity,” said Chavez.
Since the cross’ disappearance, friends put up a new memorial made out of skateboards with Raver’s name and flowers. In front of it, sits a concrete bank, and inside are Raver’s ashes.
Still, Langdon says it’s not the same. “That’s all I want, for the cross to be returned and put back where it was at, so I can have my friend back at the skate park,” he said.
Parks and Rec says it did have crews out Wednesday morning speaking with the kids at the park. They plan to work with them and Raver’s family to ensure this concrete structure is safe, and possibly even put a fence around it with a plaque.
If you’d like to create a memorial for your loved one, follow this link to visit the Parks and Rec website.