'He just told me he's going to look for a state park and sleep in the car'

'He just told me he's going to look for a state park and sleep in the car'
The road to Bastendorff Beach

WALKER, Mich. - Annemarie Hortman has been through a lot.

"I survived the war," she said.

That's World War II. In Germany.

"From the gas bombs I got emphysema," she said.

Now 75, the wear and tear has taken a toll, especially in the mornings.

Especially Tuesday morning.

"I could hardly get my clothes on," she said. "Finally I did, and I heard knocking. I came out here and there was a policeman."

What are the odds of her son David Hortman dying from random gunfire on the Oregon Coast, 2,000 miles from home in Michigan?

And what are the odds that his mother could have known something like this would happen?

Annemarie said her son David has always had a flare for adventure. She said he loved the West Coast.

"He used to with his best friend, Mike, he used to go. He went to Washington with him," she said, "and Oregon."

Which is why after business brought David to Oregon, she said he decided to extend his stay by a week for a solo road trip.

"He wanted to go up the coast line, and from what I heard he was in Eugene," she said.

"I had talked to him last night," she said Tuesday, "and he was telling me all the things he was going to see yet."

Deputies in Oregon said her son never made it beyond Bastendorff Beach near Coos Bay.

"He just told me he's going to look for a state park and then stay, you know, sleep in the car," she said.

It was an idea she instantly had a bad feeling about.

"I said please don't do that," Annemarie recalled. "I said go to a campground or something like that. He said, 'Oh mom, don't worry.'"

Which is why when she saw a police officer at her door Tuesday morning, it took her breath away.

"I just knew it had to be him," she said.

Annemarrie said she and her son are both cat lovers. They had a deal that if one of them died, the other would care for the cats.

She said she has to drive to her son's home Wednesday to pick up his three cats.