SAN JACINTO (CBSLA) — An emotional vigil was held Saturday evening for a hardw0rking 19-year-old college student murdered near the Ramona Expressway Wednesday.
Lauren Lopez had a lot to live for. She worked three jobs — a senior living home, hardware store and a gym — to pay her own way. She also trained as an MMA fighter. She lived at home with her parents in San Jacinto.
“She always had a smile. She was a hard worker. She’s a student. She had a lot of goals for herself,” said her father, Carlos Lopez.
Lauren and a male — 22-year-old Patrick Powell — were found shot to death inside a Chevy Hatchback.
While there has been reportedly an uptick in violent crime in the area, it still gives friends and family pause that Lopez could be killed in broad daylight.
The prayer candlelight vigil Saturday was held in Lopez’ honor. KCAL 9’s Jeff Nguyen reported from the vigil where he said hundreds came to pay their respects to Lopez and Powell.
Lopez’ family says they are shattered.
Her family and friends said adding to their loss is knowing her killer is still at large.
“We have no answers. We have not one thing to go off of,” said her sister Renee Castillo.
“This is the worst pain I’ve ever felt,” said Powell’s mother.
Both families and detectives aren’t sure why Lopez and Powell were in the vehicle together.
“I just want to say if there is anyone out there with a heart, that has a kid, grandkids. I’m a mother. I know there’s mothers and fathers out there. If they can come forward and say something, anything,” said Powell’s mother Andrea Hill.
“She touched many people’s hearts,” said Castillo of her sister, “not just her family, but many people in her community.”