Ryanne Mace, an only child, was an ace student who knitted baby jackets and blankets for fun. She made a favorite snack of Cheetos and cream cheese and, friends said, had a boyfriend who planned to move to the DeKalb area this summer. Her family was crushed by her loss Thursday. Relatives gathered at the family's home in Carpentersville. All looked like they were trying not to cry or had just finished. "She was ten thousand times better than the best parts of each of us," the family said in a statement later. "Our hearts are broken." Mace played violin, grew up in Carpentersville and graduated in 2006 from Dundee-Crown High School. She was a standout member of its French Club, which packed her off to college with a small scholarship, said high school principal Lynn McCarthy. "She never wanted to miss a beat," said Amy Schwartz, 19, of Algonquin, who shared a dorm room with Mace last year. "Every night she was writing papers or reading something."