Described by friends as “bubbly and always smiling,” 29-year-old Mirian Yohana Garcia Mancilla of Aquebogue was last seen alive the night of May 5 at Sabor Latino restaurant in Riverhead.
An Aquebogue marina worker known as Yohana, she was an avid soccer player, had a black belt in karate and DJ’d at local parties.
She had gone out that night to watch a boxing match at the restaurant bar. Her body was later discovered Monday morning behind the Riverhead DMV.
Ms. Garcia was mourned at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Riverhead a week later while her killer remained free.
“I don’t know how someone could do something like this and bring such pain on the family,” friend Carlos Enrique of Philadelphia said prior to the tearful services.
Church sister Suzanne Jolliver of Peconic described Ms. Garcia as “very bubbly and always smiling.”
“She was a sweetheart,” she said, adding that Ms. Garcia was very devoted to her nieces and nephews back in Guatemala.
Suffolk County police made quick work of the case, arresting a 21-year-old from Guatemala, Guillermo Alfonso Alvarado-Ajcuc, on May 16. Mr. Alvarado-Ajcuc, who was living in the country illegally, is facing two second-degree murder charges. The first is for murder while committing a felony, in this case a rape, and the second is for the murder itself.
He’s due back in Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverside on Jan. 9.