A vigil was held Friday evening for Madeleine Gutierrez, 32, who police say was murdered Saturday in Indio.
Friends and family were invited to leave candles, flowers and say a prayer for her and her family – but were asked to wear a mask and remain socially distanced.
Gutierrez's loved ones have set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs and other expenses – if you'd like to help: click here.
They said she was a firecracker of love and light, and is going to be sorely missed.
"She was my soul sister, she really was," said Jackie Cancino, best friends with Gutierrez. "She was everything to me and it's just hard because it feels like I don't have that person anymore, that support"
Gutierrez's mother Elsa called her daughter a beacon of light, and said they are now leaning of the love of friends and family to get through this moment.
Guittierez, who was working toward becoming a lawyer, now leaves behind two young sons.
"They were devastated but I feel like the family has really gotten together for them keeping them busy," Cancino said. "If they have the support from their family, they're going to be fine."
Edward Alvarez, 40, of Indio was arrested at the scene and subsequently charged with murder. Alvarez, who is being held at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta in lieu of $1 million bail, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday at the Banning Justice Center.
According to Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron, officers were sent to the Summer Breeze complex on a report of an assault.
Police said Alvarez and Gutierrez "were acquainted," and Gutierrez's family hopes her loss brings awareness to domestic abuse.
Alvarez was convicted in 2017 of assault causing great bodily injury, a felony. In 2015, he was sentenced to probation following his guilty plea for
false imprisonment and spousal abuse, both misdemeanors, court records show.