By Greg Argos


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LINDENWOLD, N.J. (CBS) — A young New Jersey woman is being remembered Monday night after she was found dead in a car last Thursday. As the investigation into the death of 21-year-old Maribely Lopez continues, friends and family gathered to remember the light she leaves behind.

More than 60 family members and friends gathered in Lindenwold Monday night. There weren’t many tears because this was more of a celebration of life for the 21-year-old who was killed last week.

“She was just a very loving person,” Lopez’s brother, Bryan, said.

Credit: CBS3

With a quirky smile and an infectious personality, it’s not hard to see why so many gathered to share what they’ll miss most about Lopez.

“Whenever you’re down, she’ll always brighten up your day,” one man said.

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“She’s not here in her body, present here, but she’s here. She’s looking at us,” Lopez’ mother, Sonia, said.

The 21-year-old’s body was discovered last Thursday morning on Medley Lane in Willingboro, about 40 minutes from where she lived.

She was shot at least one time, found sitting inside an idling red sedan.

Investigators have not announced a suspect or a motive at this time.

“I was in a shock, ask my mom. I didn’t cry for hours until I knew she was gone from me forever,” Bryan said.

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Candles held by those that loved her will now protect her home, a gentle reminder of the friend and daughter taken way too soon.

“When I see that flame, I see her. She was a bright girl. She was so full of energy,” Sonia said.

Each of the candles flickering in the wind represent memories of Lopez.

Investigators say they will have not made any arrests, although the investigation remains very active.

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