Thursday Aug 27 2009
Body in park was Del Oro grad, 21
By: Julie Eng Journal Correspondent
Cause of death yet to be determined
Friends and family of 21-year-old Alyse Rachelle Conk, whose body was found on Wednesday morning in Loomis Basin Community Park, remember her happiness as infectious. “When she was happy she was amazing,” said Terra Dawson, a close friend of Conk’s since the two were 14. “She loved to be goofy, and I loved that about her. She was just so fun to be around.” Conk’s body was found by a 16-year-old boy in the Loomis Basin Community Park at 10:40 a.m. Wednesday. According to a Sheriff’s Department news release she appeared to have been camping by the creek. No foul play is suspected in her death, according to Dena Erwin, spokeswoman for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. Friends say she had been out of contact with them for several months, and were unaware that she had been camping in the park. Acquaintances and friends contacted by the Journal were unwilling to speculate as to why Conk appeared to be camping in the park. It is as yet unknown whether drugs or alcohol played a role in her death. An autopsy was scheduled as of press time. Conk attended Del Oro High School in Loomis and was a member of the water polo team until she graduated in 2006. Dawson said the sport was very important to Conk, and that she was amazing in the water. Greg Kelderman, her coach, agreed, and remembers her as an easygoing girl. “She was an independent, kind soul,” he said. “I think that describes her best.” Keldermam and Dawson recall Conk being very excited about joining the Air Force after she graduated from high school. Dawson’s memories of Conk when she visited her in boot camp are happy ones. “She’d never been more beautiful,” Dawson said. “She was happy, covered in freckles, and she was so proud.” After leaving the Air Force, Conk lived in Rocklin and made many friends in the area who mourn her passing. Rachel Foster, who has known the Conk family for three years, will miss a trustworthy friend. “She was always a kind-hearted person,” Foster said. “I’d always go to her for advice. A lot of people will miss her, because she was always there for people when they needed her.” Dawson remembers Conk as loving math, Sudoku puzzles, and music. One of her favorite memories of Conk is of the two of them eating Chinese food and listening to the Beatles. She also said she and Conk enjoyed working together at Pizza Factory in Loomis as high school students. “When she was on her game, she was hilarious,” Dawson said. Kelderman said Conk was an easy person to talk to, especially for a high school student. He said that she was always herself and didn’t let herself get wrapped up in others’ negative business “She had a smile that lit up the room,” he said. In addition to water polo, Dawson said that Conk’s religious beliefs were very important to her. “Even when everything was bad, she always had her faith,” she said. “I don’t know what comes next, but I hope it’s better for her.” Further details on the circumstances surrounding Conk’s death will be published in the Journal when that information becomes available. She is survived by her parents, Tim and Denise Conk, and her brother and sister, Jared and Ashley Conk.