A massive manhunt was underway for a killer after he was accused of pounding a woman in the head with a hammer in East Los Angeles, authorities said Monday.
"Why would you do this?" Elizabeth Emi Dolores, mother of the victim, said as she wept. "We trusted you and you did this to my baby."
Her family said she was a "bubbly" girl, and had been living with the accused attacker for a while.
Candles were set at the site where she was killed Monday night, with some mourners vowing to find the accused killer themselves.
Police Search for Killer Who Used Hammer
Ochoa's sister said she would miss her sister's infectious laugh.
"She always had this great energy about her and even if she was sad, or we were sad, she would always make sure we were happy," Cynthia Montelongo said.
Antonio Medina, a 28-year-old transient, was identified as the suspect by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Around 1 a.m. on Saturday, deputies responded to an assault with a deadly weapon call in the 470 block of South Sydney Drive.
A 21-year-old woman, identified as Kassandra Ochoa, was found bleeding and unresponsive, and died in the garage not far from her grandmother's home.
Witnesses said he was arguing with Ochoa before she was found injured. They also saw him running from the area in a gray thermal shirt and dark pants.
Medina was described as 5-feet 7-inches tall, weighing 180 pounds.
A preliminary investigation revealed Medina and Ochoa were dating. Her family said that she lived with Medina through several sentences.
Medina was recently released from prison after serving a sentence for grand theft auto, police said.
"He should turn himself in," said Lt. Victor Lewandowski of LASD. "We are going to get him. We'll find him."
Police believe he may still be in the East LA area, and anyone with information is encouraged to call Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
Detectives also said that if residents spot him, don't confront him - just call 911.
Her family set up a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral services, which can be found here.