Family, Friends Remember Lizette Cuesta’s ‘Fighting Spirit’ at Tracy Vigil

 TRACY -- Dozens of Lizette Cuesta's friends and family gathered at Tracy City Hall Saturday night for a candlelight vigil.

With every candle lit and prayer said out loud or in silence, many remembered 19-year-old Cuesta for her smile.

"It means a lot. Over the last few days, we’ve found out that we have a lot of support. People that we know, people that we don’t know, we want to thank them, every single one of them," said Ruperto Cuesta, the 19-year-old's uncle. "There’s no words to find, the support we are getting is great."

Lizette Cuesta’s dad would call her “tornado” because of her infectious energy, something Nelson Cuesta will miss most about his cousin.

"We used to be really close as kids. I still love her and I'll miss her a lot," he said.

The family says they are still in shock but will use the memory of Lizette Cuesta’s will to survive as a reason to push forward.

"Right now we are doing a little bit better," Ruperto Cuesta said. "We are following Lizette's spirit to fight, fighting spirit that she never gave up, and that’s what we are going to do. We are always going to think about the willpower she had."

The short vigil ended with the release of balloons and a simple message from everyone -- "We love you Liz."

"It was really emotional. It’s like saying goodbye to someone you really love," Ruperto Cuesta said. "Symbolically saying goodbye, it was tough. But at the same time, seeing all the people here, it was a little comforting."

The family said funeral plans have not been established yet.