Williams Community Embraces Karen Garcia’s Family, Friends as They Honor Her Memory

WILLIAMS -- Dozens held tight to candles and to each other in the Williams town square Saturday night, praying for comfort after the loss of Karen Garcia.

"I'm not going to lie, this is a little hard for us," said Johnny, a good friend and neighbor of Garcia's.

Strangers stopped by to pay their respects as family and friends all united in their grief.

They continued to push forward by reliving the past. Loved ones shared their memories of Garcia with the crowd.

"Karen was always playful," Johnny said. "Walked into a room and she was picking on you, with love of course."

The unthinkable murder of the 21-year-old and the death of her younger sister Jessica, who was killed in a car crash Jan. 7, two days before Karen was reported missing, shook the small town to its core.

Garcia's ex-boyfriend, Salvador Garcia Jr., is still missing. Colusa police have pinned him as a suspect.

With so much devastation in such a short amount of time, the only way to get through the pain for family and friends was together.

"The community, all you folks sharing Facebook pages, going out, tagging your cars, all that was amazing," Johnny said. "I've never seen a community like that together and caring for one another."

Moving forward friends say the best way to keep her memory alive is to "be like Karen."

"Be happy, be silly, there's nothing wrong with walking into a room cracking a few jokes, just putting a smile on people's faces," Johnny said.

Karen's funeral is next week followed by a reception. The family has asked that everyone wear purple to bring awareness to domestic violence.