Family members held a vigil for Maribel Ramos, whose body was found in an Orange County canyon. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, 2013.
On a week that Maribel Ramos would have been preparing for her college graduation, her family is returning to the canyon where her body was found.
A group of 50 mostly family members gathered on Sunday in Modjeska Canyon, an unincorporated rural community of several hundred residents in the Santa Ana Mountains in eastern Orange County where Ramos’ body was found on Thursday.
The Ramos family gathered to say goodbye to a former sergeant in the U.S. Army who served two tours of duty in Iraq and who worked at Cal State Fullerton where she was set to graduate with a criminal justice degree.
She will graduate posthumously next Sunday, her family said.
On Friday, Ramos’ younger sister Lucy described how the family is getting through this difficult time.
“We lean on God to give us the peace only He can give us,” she said. “I’m gonna miss her a lot.”
At the apartment complex in Orange where Ramos lived, flowers were left on her doorstep with a message -- “Rest in peace.”
Ramos’ former roommate Kwang Chol "K.C." Joy was arrested in connection with her death. He is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
He was being held at the Orange County Jail on suspicion of murder with bail set at $1 million, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department's inmate information website.