ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- On a family trip to Florida, Tracey Biletnikoff told her father she planned to break up with her boyfriend. He was too stifling, she said, calling all the time and complaining when he couldn't track her down.
Hall of Fame receiver Fred Biletnikoff sympathized with his daughter, a young woman who'd seen her share of trouble but was finally turning her life around. The breakup was another sign she was getting stronger.
A few weeks later, Tracey was found dead at age 20.
Her boyfriend, Mohammed Haroon Ali, was accused of murder and is scheduled to go on trial next month.
Biletnikoff, who played for the Oakland Raiders for 14 years and now coaches their wide receivers, plans to attend.
''Being around Tracey was like hanging out with a good friend of yours all the time, even when she was just a small kid,'' he said. ''We had a lot of fun in everything we did, no matter what it was.''
Tracey was the third of Biletnikoff's five children. They shared the same warm smile, the same lanky build.
''It was so neat to see the two of them. They'd go outside in the back yard some nights and Tracey would bundle up in her Dad's clothes -- his sweat shirts and jackets and hats -- and they'd sit there and look at the stars,'' said Angela Biletnikoff, Tracey's stepmom. ''I think Fred really misses that.''
After months of quietly coping with the death, Fred and Angela decided to do something. They started the Tracey Biletnikoff Foundation to support community programs that treat substance abuse and domestic violence.
''We're doing something that we feel that's beneficial,'' Biletnikoff said. ''Something happened in our lives that can happen to anybody.''
As a teen-ager, Tracey lived in Southern California with her mother. It was there that she became involved with heroin and methamphetamine.
After she was treated at a drug treatment center in San Diego, her father persuaded her to move north, where he had lived since the Raiders moved from Los Angeles to Oakland. He wanted her to get more help.
''As soon as she saw me she said, 'I'm only going in for 30 days, that's it,''' but Tracey stayed on for an additional 30 days, then 30 more, and 30 more, Biletnikoff said. Eventually she became a counselor.
''Tracey was always trying to help the underdog,'' Biletnikoff said. ''People could gravitate to Tracey real easily, because she was so friendly, so outgoing.''
Ali also had a troubled youth, but it seemed as if he too was making positive changes.
In 1995, he pleaded no contest to kidnapping a girlfriend. According to court records, he kidnapped her twice, once holding her for three days.
Ali was given a year in jail, against the protests of prosecutors who wanted him to serve more time in state prison.
As a part of his probation, Ali was required to undergo drug treatment. He did so well that he was often held up as an example of the program's success.
''And that's how he encountered Tracey,'' said Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County chief deputy district attorney.
At first, Ali seemed to be the perfect boyfriend. He sent Tracey flowers and lent her his car when hers wasn't running. Together, they worked to stay off drugs.
But Tracey began to feel uneasy about the relationship.
''She probably was getting to the point where she didn't feel real comfortable around him any more,'' Biletnikoff said. ''When she came to me and said, 'What do you think about me breaking up with Ali,' then I knew that there was something going on, the fact that she wanted to get away from that.''
At 3 a.m. on Feb. 16, 1999, a police officer knocked on the Biletnikoffs' door. Tracey was missing.
Her strangled body was found after daybreak, tossed down a grassy hill near the parking lot of a Redwood City community college.
Ali, then 23, was arrested that night as he tried to cross the California-Mexico border in Tracey's car.
The Biletnikoffs' foundation has provided the down payment for Tracey's Place of Hope, a Burlingame, Calif., home that will provide substance-abuse treatment for girls 14-18.
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