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Dorner case: Slain officer's wife speaks of losing 'perfect' mate

February 13, 2013 |  2:28 pm

Fighting tears, the wife of slain Riverside police Officer Michael Crain said she will most miss the simple times with her husband.

Regina Crain said she loved the family's Sunday mornings, when she fixed her husband his favorite breakfast: eggs, bacon and, most important, hash browns, she said. He loved his hash browns.

Crain, an 11-year veteran of the Riverside Police Department, was shot before dawn Thursday in the massive manhunt for ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. Police said Dorner opened fire on Crain, 34, and his partner as they sat at a red light in Riverside in a marked patrol car.

PHOTOS: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Riverside Police Chief Sergio Diaz called the attack a "cowardly ambush."

Thousands attended Crain's funeral at the Grove Community Church in Riverside. Hundreds of uniformed law enforcement officers were in attendance, representing agencies from across the state.

Crain is survived by his wife; a 10-year-old son, Ian, and a 4-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn, according to the Riverside Police Department.

TIMELINE: Manhunt for ex-LAPD officer

Regina Crain said her husband went to his daughter's ballet classes and danced with her. Though he never played baseball, he learned the game so he could coach his son's team, she said.

While other people talked about having good relationships, "I felt like mine was perfect," she said. "It just seemed like a dream."

"Every day got better," she said. "Every day we renewed our vows. I knew how much he loved me and those babies."

While Dorner's name wasn’t uttered at Crain's funeral, the anger at the sudden loss of Crain's life was tangible.

A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputy was killed Tuesday in what has been described as a final, desperate shootout with a man believed to be Dorner.

During a prayer Wednesday, Chaplain Steve Ballinger said, "We're confused. We're angry. And we don't understand why what has happened has happened. And yet we understand we can't change the past."

Officers and friends overwhelmingly described Crain as a soft-spoken man whose love of his family was obvious.

Diaz addressed Crain's children, choking up several times.

Diaz told the children their father was known to be tough. "Because he was tough, he knew he could be kind and gentle," Diaz said.

His friends, Diaz said, "miss him already."

Crain will be interred at Riverside National Cemetery.

ALSO:

Dorner manhunt: A sigh of relief and anguish in Big Bear

Dorner manhunt: Incendiary tear gas reportedly used on cabin

Dorner manhunt: Personal items of fugitive said to be found in cabin

-- Hailey Branson-Potts, in Riverside

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