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A candlelight vigil was held on Tuesday evening for Jennika Lee Suazo, an 18-year-old girl who was pronounced dead for unknown reasons on Friday at a residence on the 300 block of P Street in Eureka. Police are classifying her death as “suspicious.”

Despite the cold and rainy weather, more than a hundred people gathered at the amphitheater by the Adorni Center in Eureka to mourn Suazo’s loss and remember her life. She was a girl who, in her short time on this Earth, touched many lives with her charismatic, kindhearted and accepting personality. 

Suazo’s favorite teacher — Peter Perata of Zoe Barnum’s English department — spoke very highly of the girl. “A complete ray of sunshine in our school. There was nobody in our school she did not know or talk to. She was one of those factors that keeps a community together. She was just phenomenal,” he said. 

Candles were passed out, along with red, black and purple balloons — Sauzo’s favorite colors. The girl’s family expressed grief and frustration about her sudden death. Her friends and even acquaintances shared fond memories and powerful statements.