When Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton divorced in 1999, their little son Trayvon was just a toddler, according to news reports.
Since that time, the two, while not together in the traditional sense, had joined to form a protective bond around their son, a bond that was irretrievably broken on the night of February 26 in Sanford, Florida. That's when a neighborhood watch captain shot the teen to death, an act he claims was self-defense.
A composite created from news reports, rallies and press conferences shows the elder Martin, bald head and neatly groomed beard, as a doting father and Fulton as a loving mother who fought their hardest to keep their son from being a statistic, and even worse, a victim.
On Monday, the two were fighting together, this time at a news conference to defend the teen's reputation in the wake of media reports that were later confirmed by a family spokesman connecting the 17-year-old to marijuana residue.
Read more: Trayvon's father addresses Sanford town hall
"The only comment that I have right now is that they've killed my son and now they're trying to kill his reputation," Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said to reporters.
The boy, who lived in Miami, was visiting Sanford while serving a 10-day suspension from school, the family spokesman said. An empty plastic bag found in his book bag had marijuana residue, family spokesman Ryan Julison confirmed.
The divorcees lived near each other in Miami Gardens, according to the Miami Herald. Tracy Martin made a living for himself as a truck driver. Fulton worked as a Miami-Dade government employee, the newspaper reported.
On the night of the All Star game, some 25 miles away in Orlando, the elder Martin was visiting his fiancee’s house in Sanford. He figured his 20-year-old nephew and Trayvon were together, and so he thought nothing of it when the boy didn’t answer his cellphone despite repeated calls.
“There wasn't a panic that he wasn't at home," Tracy Martin told People. "I figured that they had gone to the movies, because they had said they might. So I laid down, thinking they would show up later," he was quoted as saying in the magazine. The next morning the police showed him a picture of the teen's body, according to People.
Read more: Trayvon Martin's former coach speaks out
Even while publicly grieving, Sybrina Fulton has shown poise and composure. She told a raucous crowd at last week's Million Hoodie March in New York: "This is not about a black-and-white thing. This is about a right-and-wrong thing. Justice for Trayvon!"
The boy whose fatal shooting would provoke a social movement in death was in life a liaison, acting as a go-between for his parents, "sending little messages back and forth between us," Tracy Martin told Time.
“Tray was a beautiful kid,” Martin told the Miami Herald. “He was raised to have manners and be respectful. He was a teenager who still had a lot of kid in him. He still loved to go to Chuck E. Cheese with his cousins and would bake them chocolate chip cookies when he was babysitting them.”
Fulton called for Miami students that protested her son's death by walking out of class to instead channel their energies into activism. “Ms. Sybrina Fulton contacted Miami-Dade County Public Schools to voice her disapproval of student walkouts and to encourage students to instead sign petitions, attend organized rallies, and pray," a statement on the school district's website said.
A spokesman for Miami-Dade schools told HLN Monday that the district was discussing ways to honor Trayvon Martin. He would not divulge further details.