Connor Eckhardt seemed to have a fortunate, all-American life. He was a happy-go-lucky kid with good parents and a nice family in Roseville.
Last month, that family gathered in a hospital to say goodbye to him.
Eckhardt, 19, had apparently taken one hit from a spice cigarette, collapsed and gone into a coma. He later died.
Spice is a type of synthetic marijuana that's illegal but still available for purchase at a smoke shop or a non-chain convenience store, if you know to ask for it. Eckhardt had been in rehab for other drugs like heroin, but he reportedly had been sober for eight months at the time of his death.
"You're never sure what you get with spice," said Connor Eckhardt's father, Devin Eckhardt. "Even somebody experienced with it and (who) used it could be subjected to the same types (of) outcomes the next time they try it."
Today, a Facebook page dedicated to remembering Connor Eckhardt features comments from people who said they have smoked spice but are now pledging to stop. There also are comments from parents who have talked to their children about spice after learning about teen's story.
Connor Eckhardt's parents hope others will continue to learn from his death. At the hospital, while waiting for helicopters to take flight with their son's donated organs, Devin Eckhardt and his wife Veronica remembered their last moments with Connor.
"Those hours and days we spent at the hospital, we were able to touch him, and kiss him and run our fingers through his hair," Veronica Eckhardt said. "I took pictures of his freckles, his scars, his footprints and handprints of anything I can think of to memorialize and remember things about Connor.
"People don't get that opportunity. We got that gift."
You can find the Facebook page dedicated to remembering Connor Eckhardt at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Connor-Reid-Eckhardt/270455916494386