MONROVIA ( — Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden and suspicious death of a woman who was found dead in her car, days after she had disappeared.

The body of LaJoya McCoy, 31, was discovered in her vehicle on Cypress Ave., about a mile away from her home on West Olive Ave., where she had last been seen last week.

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Friends and family had been hopeful that McCoy, who was the mother of two young children, would be found safely. They gathered Tuesday for a vigil in her memory.

“Our kids are not supposed to go before us, these are our children,” Tangala Alfred Gentles said. “She was wonderful, she was young and full of life, and had a whole life ahead of her.”

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McCoy, who held a master’s degree, worked as an accountant for Los Angeles County before opening a clothing boutique in Monterey Park last year. Employees next to her business say they were puzzled when, all of a sudden, she didn’t show up for work, and they saw a “For Lease” sign go up.

Friends say they have no idea who would want to harm her, stating that she had no enemies, as well as a good relationship with her children’s father. Los Angeles Sheriffs and Monrovia Police are both investigating her death, calling it suspicious.

“I know that this person is going to get caught, and I wish the worst possible suffering on this person,” Gentles said.

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Anyone with information relating to the investigation is urged to contact either the LA County Sheriff’s Department or Monrovia Police.