RIDGECREST, Calif. (KGET) — While she hasn’t officially been identified, it isn’t hard to find many tributes to the 21-year-old woman murdered in Ridgecrest this week.
She was a friendly face at the Burger King on N China Lake Boulevard, said a co-worker at the restaurant a day after her body was discovered. He said he cried as soon as he found out what happened.
“She was a really good person,” said Jason Stan, “All she would talk about is positivity, that’s all she would talk about. She would bring the good out of people.”
On Facebook, friends have shared memories of her from school, while grieving that such a bright life ended in a violent fashion. She graduated from Burroughs High School in 2018 and was classmates with the suspect, 20-year-old Daniel Gunnarsson.
Kern County Sheriff’s Office records say Gunnarsson was arrested at the same location where the body was found, the 900 block of Skylark Avenue. The victim’s parents said they would never have allowed her to be with Gunnarsson if they had known what he was like.
“She was the sweetest soul,” said her step-father Will Frank. “She wouldn’t harm a soul.”
Frank said his daughter just turned 21 last month. He and his wife, Jennifer, said they did not know Gunnarsson too well before the murder, but have not heard good things about him.
Gunnarsson is now in Kern County jail, accused of murder and mutilating remains.
Frank and Jennifer both say they wish they knew more about what happened to their daughter. They’ve heard rumors, and there are posts online, but the Kern County Sheriff’s Office said it had no further information to release about the case.
Frank said he can’t imagine anything she could have done to deserve this.
“All I know is because of one cowardly act, she is gone,” Frank said.
Gunnarsson is due in court tomorrow in Bakersfield to be arraigned on his felony charges.