RIVERDALE, Utah — Friends and family members gathered at a park in Riverdale on Friday evening to honor 34-year-old Shilo Stewart.
Investigators said Stewart was stabbed and pushed out of her car on I-15 while she was driving on Sunday in Farmington.
The Davis County Sheriff’s Office arrested 18-year-old Oscar Cuevas-Landa. Investigators said they believe Stewart had never met the suspect until that day, when she offered him a ride.
Deputies said Cuevas-Landa confessed to being high on marijuana and LSD while committing the crime.
Although the suspect had a court hearing on Friday, family members said the gathering for Stewart had almost nothing to do with him. They wanted to focus on Stewart and the many lives she touched.
They released rose petals into a nearby stream and sent balloons with loving messages to Stewart into the sky. Family members said the park was her favorite spot.
Stewart’s younger brother Sage Biggs became choked up as he remembered getting a phone call with the bad news.
“I couldn’t feel anything. I didn’t believe it,” Biggs said. “I still can’t believe it, but I know she’s gone. I’ve seen her in heaven in my dreams.”
“She was wonderful and beautiful, and she was nice to my daddy, and they used to swim together!” said Stewart’s six-year-old nephew, Xander. “She got stabbed, and she passed away.”
Family members described the stabbing as “senseless,” knowing they may not ever be able to understand why Stewart was killed.
“I just know that she was giving him a ride, and she looked at him and he got mad, and he took her life,” Biggs said. “I don’t know how that kid feels, but I hope he feels it every day for the rest of his life.”
“I want to seek the death penalty myself. I’m not sure how everybody else feels, but he took away the biggest part of our lives. She was the glue that kept us all together,” said Misty Butcher, Stewart’s sister. “You need to apologize to my mother. You’ve taken away her daughter. You’ve taken away my sister. She was my life. My soulmate. My best friend.”
Stewart’s mother, Karen Surles agreed.
“She was my best friend too.”
Friends told FOX 13 they believe the police’s story adds up because Stewart was the type of woman who would help anyone.
“One Christmas I didn’t have any money, and I didn’t have any presents for my daughter, and Shilo gave me $100,” friend Heather Moore said.
Cuevas-Landa is now facing a first-degree murder charge and an aggravated assault charge.
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses. If you would like to donate, click here.