Hundreds turned out Wednesday to an impromptu candlelight vigil for Sarah Alarid at Todd Longshore Park in Canyon Country.
Alarid’s body was found by a Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter Wednesday more than 350 feet down a ravine near mile marker 7.98 of Sand Canyon Road in the Angeles National Forest.
The discovery followed a seven-day search that involved thousands of fliers and officials from Santa Clarita Valley to Ventura County scouring the land from Canyon Country, where Alarid lived, to the Antelope Valley. (An interview with Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.)
Thursday’s show of community support was unexpected, according to family friend Rigo Iglesias, boyfriend of Sarah’s sister Kayla Alarid, who was at the family’s home Friday.
“It really touched our hearts because (the community) has been helping us through this, and it did mean a lot to the family,” he said of the 8 p.m. vigil.
“It was super cold and windy outside, but everyone stuck it out,” he said. “It was a couple of hours.”
After the group sang a few of Sarah Alarid’s favorite songs, the crowd let balloons go, he said.
“It was outside, and with the big crowd, once you got into the crowd you could feel the heat, it brought everybody together.
The family was still making arrangements and hadn’t yet determined if or when there would be a formal, public memorial, Iglesias said.
He said family members found out about the vigil from a Facebook page titled “Where’s Sarah,” and that the family was very appreciative of the local support.
“I compared it to the warmth you feel for everybody coming together these past nine or 10 days,” he said. “As tragic as this sounds, it gave us some kind of closure.”
“I am getting emails from a lot of people in the community,” said Action Family Counseling’s Founder, Cary Quashen. “There is a good thing that came out of this. The community can really look at how a community like Santa Clarita can come together and do so much to try and help someone, so everyone should feel good about that.”
Alarid was last seen leaving a New Year’s Eve party alone in her car around 3 a.m., according to detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau.
The case is now being investigated as a single-vehicle collision by the California Highway Patrol, said Officer John Lutz.
No foul play was suspected at this time, said Deputy Josh Dubin, spokesman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“We’re all going to be doing a coordinated effort in our investigation. However, the primary agency at this point is going to be the California Highway Patrol,” Lutz said.
“What’s going to happen is that along with our collision report, we’re going to get a Coroner’s report. I don’t know what the result is going to be until all the reports are in.”
All information regarding the case is on hold pending release from the Sheriff’s Department, officials with the Coroner’s Department said Thursday. However, the results from a toxicology report generally take eight to 10 weeks.