The family of a California woman shot and kidnapped from her boyfriend’s car before being murdered last month hoped for justice as they laid her to rest.
Nineteen-year-old Andrea Vazquez was on a date with her boyfriend at a park in the city of Whittier when they were ambushed on 20 August. Vazquez was snatched while her boyfriend rushed to call for help.
After her body was found days later in Moreno Valley, 20-year-old Gabriel Esparza was charged with murder, kidnapping and attempted rape in connection with the attack.
Vazquez’s family said their final farewell to the young woman during a funeral ceremony on Wednesday, ABC reported. Vazquez’s mother said her daughter had a “bright future” and life ahead of her that was senselessly cut short.
“We’re looking forward to getting justice for my daughter, and we’re not going to stop until justice is done because no one deserved this,” Vazquez’s father Eduardo Vazquez also told the network.
Vazquez was a fashion design student at Fullerton College and also worked at a mall in Cerritos.
Prosecutors have formally filed seven charges against the suspect, according to a criminal complaint submitted in Los Angeles Superior Court.
These also include attempted murder, kidnapping to commit another crime, assault with intent to commit a felony, and two counts of attempted forcible rape. Mr Esparza entered a not-guilty plea last month.
Mr Esparza, a Whittier resident, was arrested at his in the city of Lakewood. Officials have said the attack on Vaquez was random.
He has since been booked into the Whittier Police Department and is being held without bail.
Investigators recovered the weapon believed to have been used in the slaying, as well as the suspect’s vehicle, a 2013 White Toyota Tacoma truck.