Lorena Gonzalez was remembered Saturday as a woman of faith who was trying to work through a troubled marriage.
Gonzalez's body was found in a burned out car in a parking lot at UCSD on October 29. Her estranged husband, Julio Angel Garcia-Puente, was arrested in Mexico and is now facing charges of arson and murder.
It was a festive celebration of life. But there was no mistaking the emotional toll the murder of Lorena Gonzalez had on the small San Marcos congregation at Templo Cristiano Alpha Y Omega.
“It's so hard for everybody to understand this case. It's so hard,” said the victim’s friend, Sylvia Onofre.
Saturday’s service was packed with a standing room only gathering of 200 people. A pastor said he had spoken to Gonzalez about her marital problems but news of her death came as a shock.
“I would like people to understand that she was really a lady of God, a woman of God, that she trusts God with all her heart and she loved her children,” said Pastor Jose De Jesus Lopez.
Gonzalez was a prayer leader and Sunday school teacher at the church.
“You were the best teacher I ever had. You're still alive. You're still alive and people know it,” a child read at the service.
Gonzales has family in El Salvador. Her funeral services are pending.