An autopsy revealed Higgins died from a gunshot wound that was not self-inflicted.
Family members now have many questions about why he was in that area, who killed him, and why. But they also want to celebrate his life and legacy as a talented writer and loving family man.
Victim's wife, Elise Higgins said, "Tom was a remarkable man. He had an explosion of interests."
"The people who did this have no idea what they took away from the world, they have no clue," Danny Dunn said. "And I'd like the world to know what they lost."
The Merced County Sheriff's Dive Team spent a second day searching the water near the crime scene. But they don't know yet if anything they found could be connected to the killing.