On Friday, family and friends of Janet Mejia received news they didn't want to hear: her body was found in a field area off Watt Avenue and Dyer Lane in Placer County, about 5 miles from where she lived in north Sacramento County.
The 28-year-old was reported missing by her roommate on Tuesday. On Monday, she was driving back to Sacramento from Stockton, where her family is from and she never showed up for work at Nordstrom's in Roseville.
"We were all worried, praying this situation wouldn't happen," said Meschelle Sirovina, one of Mejia's former coworkers at Nordstrom's.
ABC10 confirmed that Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies have one of Mejia's other roommates in custody on separate weapons charges. That roommate is a person of interest in Mejia's murder, pending forensic testing. Detectives have also said they don't believe this murder was random.
Friends describe Mejia as a 'gentle soul' and a Sacramento State graduate, who wanted to make a difference by working with deaf children.
"[We are] going to miss your warm spirit when we walk into family gatherings," said Nicole Tapia, Mejia's cousin . Your beautiful smile, loving heart, and most of all, your happiness in your voice every time you were around us."
"Nobody understands 'Why Janet?'" said Sirovina.
Mejia studied sign language and deaf studies, something she and Sirovina bonded over at work. Sirovina's daughter was also in college, hoping to work in that field.
That's what makes this all even more heartbreaking. Mejia was a young woman who dreamed of making a difference, but will never get the change.
"She was getting ready to go in that field, I believe, in the next couple weeks," said Sirovina. "Unfortunately, [she is not] gonna be able to pursue that. It's heartbreaking [because] she had such a future."