Death of Stockton Woman Remains Unsolved One Year Later

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STOCKTON -- Can fire freeze?

Claudia Hazaga says "yes."

"I feel like last year, we've been frozen in time, feel like it's so difficult to move on not knowing what exactly happened" she said.

She and her family have been frozen by a devastating fire and death at a now renovated Stockton apartment complex on Pacific Avenue.

A year into wondering who tortured and burned her daughter Jamie, Hazaga wishes she could focus only on the happy memories.

"She was a modern-day gypsy. She was the kind of person who wanted to live life, and see the world and knew how big it was. She was a major foodie, one of the best cooks I've ever known," Hazaga said.

All of that potential came to and end for Jamie Soares just before 1 a.m. on Memorial Day 2016, May 30.

While police remain tight-lipped about the case, her mother says she was raped, beaten, mutilated and set on fire in an animal crate while she was still alive.

A year in to her grief and her loss, Hazaga has one theory of the crime she's not ready to discuss.

There's another she's shared with police.

"The neighbors had been harassing her and throwing bottles up at her window," Hazaga said.

She says that gang-affiliated family had threatened to kill Jamie for her complaints about them that led to a scheduled eviction.

Officers have told her that lead isn't viable, but with what else Jamie's relatives say they've seen out of this investigation, they don't buy it.

"Started looking at the scene, and I saw that it wasn't processed correctly, and I know this because I'm a crime scene technician for another agency," said Soares' aunt, Dianna Kirk.

"Our investigators have been working nonstop on this case. It's still considered an active investigation," said Officer Joe Silva with the Stockton Police Department.

What hasn't been nearly active enough for the police or Soares' family -- the response from the public.

Both say they need the community to send in the kind of information they know someone has.

Soares' special needs son just wants answers.

"I pray to God to erase my pain and sadness over her," said Nathaniel Mendoza.

"She didn't deserve to die like this," said Kirk.

"Anyone who would rape, torture and murder a 98-pound girl should not be allowed to do it again," said Hazaga.

Crimestoppers is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.