PEARLAND – On Sunday, friends and family gathered for a candlelight vigil to remember Erica Hernandez.
The somber day marked four days since Pearland police confirmed the body found inside a small lake was the mother of three who had been missing for weeks.
“I just want to say thank y’all for being here to celebrate my sister’s life,” Ashley Hernandez said.
It has been hard for the family of Erica Hernandez.
“It’s still not real to us. I don’t know how long it will take for us to realize it, but it’s not real,” Ashley said.
Many stood in the rain to honor Erica’s life, who not only a mother but a sister and friend.
“She would always put us first as any mother would. She really made sure she took care of us and we are really going to miss that about her,” said Erica’s daughter.
Earlier this week, Pearland police found Erica’s body inside of her SUV submerged in a small pond in Pearland. The 40-year-old had been missing since April 3rd.
“There was a homeless community that reached out to us. They did not know we found her yet. But a homeless community was trying to help us look for her. That is just how much everybody loved her,” Ashley said.
Her three kids and sister placed a wreath in the pond and hugged each other tightly. As the sun went down, dozens of people lit candles and remembered a life taken too soon.
“She’s not here but she will live on through all of us,” Ashley said.
Erica will be laid to rest sometime this week. Her family says after the funeral they will focus on getting answers about what happened to her.