A few times, Tracey came home missing articles of clothing. Once, she looked across the street and saw a homeless person wearing a jacket Tracey had just given him. He just would give things away, she says.
"I can tell you he was an extremely friendly man," says Harry Koffenberger, director of external security for Johns Hopkins medical institutions.
Tracey had worked as a Protective Services Officer and received several letters of commendation for his service, says his former boss, who also got a phone call early New Year's Day.
"We went to the funeral," Koffenberger says, "and it was obvious to me Tracey had an impact on individuals outside his family circle."
Koffenberger also knew that Tracey aspired to be a police officer.
He had taken a written test, but had failed his first attempt, his wife says. He'd planned to try again in 1998.
He just wanted to be a cop, plain and simple, says his widow, who plans to spend New Year's Eve in church. But at age 23, with two kids and another on the way, the young father had decided he'd look for police work in Howard County -- not Baltimore, Cassandra says.
"Tracey thought Baltimore was too dangerous."
Pub Date: 12/23/98