A North County community gathered to remember a young mother, shot to death in what officials call a drug-fueled rage.
A group called DOVE, Dreaming of a Violence Free Escondido, organized the gathering at the First United Methodist church Thursday night.
Those who attended prayed for 20-year-old Morayma “Denise” Rodriguez, the mother of an 11-month-old girl.
Rodriguez’ body was found Feb. 1 along Lawrence Welk Court by a mountain biker.
"She left a little girl behind," said friend Cecilia Valdivia at the service. "It's heartbreaking."
The memorial on Thursday was also organized to raise awareness for violence in the community.
"It gives people a place to grieve, but it will also help raise a concern for one another. Because what happens here to one of us happens to all of us," said a DOVE coordinator.
Two men were named as suspects in the murder: Destin Withers and Jeffery Steven McCreary. They pled not guilty. Community members at the prayer service couldn't help but be angry at the suspects.
"We just want people like that out of the streets. We have kids, we have family members," Valdivia. "They need to stay in jail."
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