Friends and loved ones held a candlelight vigil to remember a 22-year-old woman who went missing last month. What's believed to be her body was found this past week in the Silver Lake area.
With song and prayer, family and friends of a 22-year-old mother of two whose body was found dumped off a Los Angeles area freeway last week, held a candlelight vigil on Sunday.
Bree-Anna Guzman's grief stricken 5-year-old daughter kissed her mother’s picture, the centerpiece of a makeshift memorial outside a Lincoln Heights Rite Aid, the location Guzman was last seen on Dec. 26 when she made a trip there to buy cough drops.
“She’s in the sky, but she’s a guardian angel. She’s watching me right now,” said Guzman’s daughter, Janelle.
Residents sang and prayed. They urged women and girls in the neighborhood to be careful.
Rumors have been flying about a recent possible abduction of a child and a white van that police have received no reports about and fears grew of a possible serial killer targeting Latinas. An eerily similar case of a girl whose body was dumped off a freeway was reported in April 2011.
Family members and friends spent Sunday afternoon passing out fliers, notifying residents of the vigil.
“She was a mother of two,” said Richard Mangaser, a resident who organized the vigil. “She was not into gangs. She was a victim. She was taken. She was murdered and she was dumped on the freeway. This is putting the whole community in fear.
“The family’s in a lot of pain right now.”
Officials have not officially identified Guzman, but family members believe that the partially-clothed body is that of Guzman.
A Caltrans crew found the body Jan. 26 near the Riverside Drive on-ramp to the southbound Glendale Freeway in Silver Lake.
Los Angeles Police Cmdr. Andy Smith said that someone might have killed the woman somewhere else and tossed her body off the side of the freeway.
Detectives were probing possible links between Guzman’s death and that of Michelle Lozano, 17, whose body was found on the side of a freeway on April 25, 2011.
A homeless man spotted the body and contacted police.
The body, which was covered in plastic, appeared to have been dumped, police said.