Waterford — Today would have been Kyle Seidel's 35th birthday.
His family will celebrate by eating king crab legs and chocolate cake, but he won't be there.
On Tuesday, Kate Seidel made an emotional plea for more information surrounding the events that led up to the murder of her husband on Dec. 21.
"We need answers, and we need to find out what happened," she said during a press conference at the Waterford Police Department. "As my children grow, they're going to ask me questions, and I have to answer them. Someone has to know something. Please help us get the answers we need."
Police did not announce a suspect or a motive behind the murder but said they are "concerned" that the person who shot and killed Seidel just days before Christmas may be a danger to him or herself and to others and may have exhibited post-traumatic stress disorder around the holiday season.
They asked for the public's help in identifying people they know who may have a handgun in their vehicles and who may be displaying changes in behavior that are "worrisome."
"This individual may now be suffering stress and anxiety caused by this event, which likely will get worse as time passes. He may be increasingly angry and abusive, and police wish to identify this person before he harms himself or others," Lt. David Burton said during the press conference.
'My heart is starting to catch up'
At 7:49 p.m. on Dec. 21, Seidel called the Lucky Inn Chinese Restaurant to place the family's dinner order. By 8:19 p.m., he was lying in a pool of blood in the parking lot of the Waterford Family Bowl, his car still running and the driver's side door open.
"I have no clue why he would have gone there," Kate Seidel said, adding that Family Bowl wasn't a typical place her husband would have patronized unless it was a child's birthday party the family had been invited to.
"I've played that day over and over in my head. He was very happy that night, it was a happy day. The kids gave him the Christmas ornaments they made at school because it was just before the holiday break, and he and the kids had a big tickling match on the carpet before he left," she said.
Kate Seidel said the news that someone had been shot at Family Bowl came via text message and that she started to get anxious after some time had passed and her husband hadn't returned home. She said she wasn't aware that the victim was Kyle until members of her family showed up at her door.
"I didn't even cry on the way to the hospital. I was in shock. I was numb. I don't think it really hit me until two weeks ago. My mind knows, but my heart is starting to catch up," she said.
Seidel's boots are still in the hallway of the family's home. The boat he bought last spring for his fishing excursions only had one season at sea and now sits as a daily reminder of trips not taken.
Next week, the couple would have celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary.
"He was passionate about fishing and caught everything from bass to blackfish to clams," Kate Seidel said. "When Daddy came home, the kids would run to see what he brought home for dinner. We made such a great team because he could cook and I couldn't, but he was such a great teacher, so he taught me."
Police Detective John A. Davis said Tuesday that evidence from the night of the murder was collected and sent to the state's forensics lab in Meriden. He said additional evidence has also been collected and sent but would not comment on what those items are.
"This is not an appeal to the subject or person who shot Kyle. They know who they are. This is an appeal to the public, regarding the shooter's identity," Davis said. "... This investigation is not at any particular point, and today is an effort to re-establish an unresolved case. This investigation right now is about finding answers. The police department remains positive, and the investigation is progressing. We are confident that we will find answers."
Seidel's three children, Samantha, 8, Maya, 6, and Jesse, 2, have been the recipients of books and other kind donations from strangers, Kate Seidel said. The other day, a man she didn't know dropped off a $100 check.
On Tuesday, the Waterford Police Union presented the family with $250 in Stop & Shop gift cards.
"Most people understand how expensive it is to raise kids these days, and Kate Seidel is doing it on her own now. ... This is something we felt as the union is the right thing to do," Officer Steven Whitehead, president of the union, said.
Kate Seidel said she is no longer working. Her children don't want her to leave the house.
She said her husband had no known enemies, and she didn't know about anyone who would want to hurt him.
"On Dec. 21, my life was shattered, but the hardest moment was when I had to tell the kids the next day that their daddy wasn't coming home," she said. "... There really is no hardest part of not having him around. It's all hard."
Two of Seidel's family members, Paty Daignault and Kasy Borden, were among the first to arrive at Tuesday morning's press conference.
"These months have been terrible. Not having answers doesn't help. We're here to get some answers," Daignault said. "I can tell you that Kate is one strong wife."
They said Seidel "loved his three girls" but desperately wanted a boy.
"He finally got his baby boy, but he won't remember his father," Borden said. "It's heart-wrenching."