Friends, family, and classmates gathered Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to remember the 15-year-old girl allegedly murdered by devil worshipers.
They sang hymns and prayed just across the street from the Bays Apartment Complex, 16,400 El Camino Real, where the battered body of Coriann Cervantes was discovered early Saturday.
The girl's aunt, Catera Cervantes, was among those gathered, along with her three children.
“It brings a lot of comfort to us knowing the community is behind us supporting us," Cervantes said. “We appreciate all the out pour of love and support from everybody.”
The prayer vigil was organized by local churches and the Christian Outreach Alliance. Organizer Gina Evans described the murder as an attack on the community.
"Its an attack that also takes place on the spiritual side as well, so we need to come together,” she said. "Nobody expected this to happen, so it's been hard. But we're going to get through it and there will be justice done for what the boys did. We know [Coriann] is in a better place."
"She was just an amazing girl. She was a really nice girl to talk to," said Rene Otero, the victim's friend and classmate.
According to prosecutors, 17-year-old Jose Reyes confessed that he and a 16-year-old accomplice killed Cervantes as part of a satanic ritual. She was beaten with an ashtray and a toilet tank lid, stabbed with a screwdriver and strangled. Police say she was also sexually assaulted. Her body was found in a vacant apartment with an inverted cross carved on her stomach.
The 16-year-old boy made a brief court appearance Wednesday before a juvenile judge, who ruled the boy will remain in a juvenile detention facility. His next court appearance is Feb. 18.
Prosecutors haven't yet filed a formal petition charging him in the murder.
The 16-year-old's attorney, Brian Fischer, says prosecutors could ask to have him certified to stand trial as an adult.
“I can't predict what they will do but my experience has been when you have serious felony offenses they always consider a motion to waive jurisdiction,” Fischer said.