BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Family and friends of Desiree Thompson held a celebration of life today, on what would’ve been her forty-first birthday.

The gathering took place in Lancaster Friday afternoon. Thompson’s remains were found in the backyard of a California City home in March, ten years after she was first reported missing.

Jose William Lara, 60, was arrested and charged with murder in connection to her death. The case was cracked when Lara allegedly told informants, in detail, how he killed a woman with the same description as Thompson and buried her in the backyard of the home he was renting.

Lara’s trial begins next month.