A 23-year-old found on the side of the road in Escondido is being remembered as a loving sister and kind soul.
Antonia Herrera, whose body was found on Thursday on an embankment off Champagne Boulevard in unincorporated Escondido, was identified as the victim in the homicide.
Antonia's family told NBC 7 San Diego that their sister and cousin was a beautiful person.
“She was so lively and energetic, so happy," said Antonia's sister, Tinamarie Herrera. "She loved to dance, she loved to entertain and she loved to make friends. She has millions of friends everywhere from every zip code."
Antonia was one of seven siblings, the family said.
She was originally from Chula Vista, but spent time in transitional group foster homes all over San Diego. She most recently lived in one in the San Marcos area.
According to her family, Antonia had recently told them she was scared for her life and also made comments that she thought a person was going to kill her over an item she accidentally took.
Detectives said, based on the investigation so far, it doesn't seem like the woman was killed in the area where her body was found. They also don't know how long the body was there.
Antonia's family just hopes the person responsible for the crime is found.
“She was a person. She was not a piece of trash," said her cousin, Nicole Leon. "She was somebody's daughter, somebody's sister, somebody's cousin and did not deserve to be thrown out like that. We have no answers."
The manner of death has been ruled a homicide. The autopsy has been sealed, homicide investigators said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321/after hours at (858) 565-5200. You can also remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.