Heartbroken friends paid tribute to a woman who was "a dreamer" and "full of life" after authorities discovered a body inside her car less than a mile away from her Monrovia home.
Police found the remains inside the vehicle of Lajoya McCoy, 31, during a search Tuesday morning, which came after they discovered evidence of foul play at her home. A murder investigation has also been opened.
Though investigators have not identified the body, friends who gathered at the mother-of-two's home said the body is hers.
"She was wonderful, young and full of life and had a whole life ahead of her," friend Alfred-Gentles said. "I know this person is going to get caught. And I wish the worst possible suffering on this person that can be done."
McCoy, who was born and raised in Pasadena, had earned a master's degree at California State University, Los Angeles, and worked as an accountant with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. She also had her own clothing boutique in Monterey Park, which only recently closed.
"Lajoya was a dreamer," friend Deborah Campbell said. "She truly was a god-fearing, educated, professional, mother, friend and always there. She is the exact type of person you want in your life."
The investigation into the missing woman began on Monday in the 800 block of West Olive Avenue in Monrovia.
She was reported missing a week ago by a family member after she missed appointments, officials said. Her children, who are both under the age of 10, were with their father at the time she went missing.
Authorities said they discovered evidence of foul play at her home, but did not elaborate.
Her family has started a GoFundMe page to help with her funeral expenses and for her children here