Loved ones are devastated after the body of a young teacher was found in the trunk of a burned vehicle in Lancaster.

Family, friends and community members gathered at Anaverde Park in Palmdale to honor Veronica Aguilar, 27, a second-grade teacher found murdered on Dec. 20.

“It’s a huge loss to the community, a huge loss to the school,” said Chris Welch, a parent at the school where Aguilar taught. “She was an awesome teacher and it was devastating to my kids and everybody else that she tragically passed.”

Emergency crews first responded to a house fire in the Quartz Hill neighborhood on the 41400 block of 38th Street West around 8:30 a.m.