Friends and classmates of Priscilla Pimienta gathered to remember the High Tech High student and her family - killed in a murder-suicide on May 24, 2011. Students who are supposed to be focusing on graduation, prom, and all of the wonderful things that happen this time of year are instead faced with something not even adults can comprehend. Steven Luke reports.
Alex Jasmund gripped a black-colored smart phone with his right hand and somberly lifted it in the air, revealing a recently taken photograph.
“Me and Priscilla,” said Jasmund, 17, a student at High Tech High School. “It was on Saturday night.”
On Tuesday evening, the school community will gather to mourn the deaths of Priscilla Pimienta, who was a senior at the Point Loma campus; her younger sister, Emily; and their parents, Georgina and Alfredo.
The candlelight vigil will be held from 7-10 p.m. at Mission Bay Bonita Cove, located across the street from Belmont Park in Mission Beach.
At about 6:40 a.m., the family was found dead from apparent drowning at their Bay Terraces home, said Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.
Three of the bodies were discovered in the family’s backyard swimming pool, and a fourth was in a bathtub, police said.
No suspect information has been released, nor have police confirmed the victims' ages.
A High Tech High official said the school had no comment.
As investigators searched for answers, Priscilla’s classmates did the same.
Jasmund said he went to the movies with Priscilla on Monday and knew her since their sophomore year. He was one of her best friends, he added.
On Tuesday morning, he was lying in bed, watching television before school, when an aerial view of the Parkcreek Court cul-de-sac took the screen. He recognized the neighborhood. Then cameras focused on the house. He recognized that, too.
He was there Saturday for a pre-prom party.
Jasmund called some of his senior classmates, then met several of them at Priscilla’s neighborhood in hopes their fears were unwarranted.
“When we found out, we were just devastated,” Jasmund said.
Friends who gathered described Priscilla as “outgoing” and the “nicest person” who “everyone loved.”
They said Priscilla was excited to attend their upcoming senior prom. They added she was close to her sister, Emil,y and was planning to study at Sonoma State University in the fall.
“How could this happen to anyone?” Jasmund wondered. “Why would this happen to anyone? They don’t deserve this. No one does.”