In her first media interview since her daughter Sierra Clayborn was killed in the San Bernardino terror attack, Wendy Womack-Smith admits to struggling with the loss of her firstborn.
Womack-Smith spoke on the eve of a visit by President Barack Obama who is scheduled to arrive in San Bernardino on Friday, where he will meet privately with the families of victims of the Dec. 2 terrorist shooting at the Inland Regional Center.
"Emotionally overwhelmed," she said. "Sierra was more than my daughter. It's like I gave birth to my best friend."
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Clayborn, 27, graduated from the University of California Riverside and was a county food inspector based in Big Bear.
Her family had no idea Clayborn was in San Bernardino when mayhem erupted at a staff holiday party.
"My phone kept ringing," Womack-Smith said. "Everybody kept asking Wendy have you talked to Sierra? I said no, 'it's only 4:30. She usually comes down the mountain between 4:30 and 5.'"
Wendy had a premonition but still hoped to hear from Sierra.
"Maybe she just lost her phone? And maybe she can't call. You know? I was holding on to that. And hoping that she would be there."
Confirmation came at the family emergency center with witness accounts from a surviving colleague.
"One minute Sierra was right next to me. And then we all hit the floor. And then I didn't see her anymore. So I was like, 'Oh, OK.'"
Clayborn's family says they're focused on her goodness, knowing the world has lost someone special.
"She was very highly intelligent," her brother Winston Eatmon said. "She always tried to push me to do well in school, possibly better than her. I can truly say with all my heart, there was nothing undone. Nothing unsaid. No emotion. Never kept anything from her. She was amazing, amazing."