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Person of interest in West Valley City homicide detained in Denver as supporters hold vigil

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Posted at 5:32 PM, Feb 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 09:50:33-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Police in West Valley City stated Sunday they have identified a person of interest in the death of Hope Gabaldon, and the announcement of that person's arrest in Denver came as loved ones held a vigil in Liberty Park.

Gabaldon was found badly injured in West Valley City Thursday night, and police believe she was a victim in a violent attack. She died later due to her wounds.

According to Sunday's press release, authorities identified a person of interest and worked with police in Denver to locate that individual and take them into custody. That person's name has not been released, and West Valley City PD said, because of the ongoing investigation, they could not provide further details.

Police stated Sunday they are still looking for Gabaldon's car, a 2007 Jeep Grand Cherokee with Utah license plate W663BR. The vehicle is pictured in the Tweet below.

A vigil was held in Liberty Park Sunday evening, and supporters lit candles and released balloons to honor Gabaldon, who they said was a positive, kind person filled with love for everyone around her.

“She was a beautiful person and she was always so happy, and she would do anything for everybody,” said Cheryll Campbell, the mother of Gabaldon's girlfriend.

She said the vigil was their way to focus on the positive memories, as well as show support for those close to Gabaldon.

“Her love and caring, and her personality just brightened everybody’s day,” said Jeremy Craft, the brother of Gabaldon’s girlfriend.

Gabaldon’s grandmother, Barbarita Martinez, said the woman’s parents were not able to attend the vigil, and are having a difficult time dealing with the woman’s death.

“Very devastating, sure going to miss her,” she said. “We love her.”

And that’s the message many wrote on the balloons released into the sky Sunday evening, shortly before the group lit candles in Gabaldon’s memory.

"It's just the best we can do in a bad situation, you know, it's important to remember her," Campbell said. "And she is here with us. She is here with us, in spirit."

Earlier this week, Gabaldon's loved ones, including her girlfriend, spoke to FOX 13 and shared their memories of the young woman. 

"She wouldn't hurt anybody," said Corrina Midkiff, Gabaldon's friend. "She is absolutely amazing, and you couldn't ask for a better friend."