As police investigate homicide, loved ones hold vigil for Magna mother of two

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jun 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-02 23:52:13-04

MAGNA, Utah -- While Unified Police continue to search for the person responsible for killing a Magna mother of two, family and friends of Natalia Casagrande remembered her Thursday night.

A vigil was held outside her home, the same home where she was found dead.

"We're holding this to remember the soul that she had, beautiful soul," sister-in-law Nena Arceo said.

Whether it was T-shirts, pictures, flowers or music, Casagrande was honored in a number of ways.

"She was just the kind of person who had a positive attitude toward everything, everything and anything," friend Javier Montes said.

Her family said she was a loving wife, dedicated mother, caring friend and all-around great person. They said, unfortunately, no amount of hugs or tears will bring back her beautiful smile.

"You never ever seen that woman sad, she was always smiling from ear-to-ear," Arceo said.

Casagrande's friends said she was beginning to flourish as an artist and her future had so much promise.

"She recently got into drawing and painting, and it was just like a natural thing that came to her and she was really talented," friend Adam Martinez said.

The 24-year-old was found dead inside the basement of her West Jefferson Road home Tuesday. Police are calling it a homicide.

"It feels like 48 hours of complete misery," Arceo said.

Casagrande's daughters, ages 1 and 5, were also inside the house. The family said the 5-year-old was left for dead, with choke marks around her neck and a pillow over her face. She is going to be OK.

"She was an awesome mother, it's really hard looking at the girls and knowing she is going to miss so much," Arceo said.

Casagrande's husband Steven was also at the vigil. No one was embraced more or showed more emotion. He declined to be interviewed.

Unified Police said the five-year-old daughter could be a key witness when it comes to identifying her mother's killer. However, she has yet to be interviewed by police.