GREELEY, Colo. — 22-year-old Angelica Vega, known by her family as Angie, was working at NoCo Nutrition on Friday. She was scheduled to close the shop that evening.
Greeley police officers were dispatched to the store just before 8 p.m. following a report of suspicious activity. The caller told officers it appeared the business had been broken into, and Vega was missing.
When officers arrived at the store, they reported finding a large amount of blood, and Vega's car was not there. Roughly two hours later, police found Vega's car at a gas station not far from NoCo Nutrition. Her body was discovered in the back of the car.
What happened to Vega is not the story her family wants shared. They want the community to know how special she was and the impact she had on everyone she met.
On Monday, Virginia Barragan spoke about who her daughter was. Two of Vega's younger siblings stood on either side of their mother as she described her daughter.
“She loved bringing people together. She was always smiling. She loved dancing, music. Anywhere she went, she loved food," Barragan said. “She always wanted to try something new or do something new, cook up recipes. Just look up a recipe and she would go for it, and it was yummy.”
Vega's younger brother, Angel Diaz, said his sister was always an inspiration to him because she was extremely kind to everyone she met.
“She was really smart. I’d ask her a question, she most likely had the answer," said Diaz. “She was there whenever I needed an older sister.”
Barragan said Vega loved working at NoCo Nutrition, which is owned by her aunt and uncle.
"[She would] brighten your day even if you didn't buy anything," Barragan said. "She would do whatever she could to just make you smile.”
Barragan said her daughter would write inspirational and sweet messages on customer's cups in the store. In her daughter's honor, Barragan shared a message of love and hope, despite the tragedy.
“Overall, life is a beautiful place. Try to encourage each other and not bring each other down. Live like there's no tomorrow. Love with all your heart, and forgive each other," said Barragan.
On Monday evening, dozens of people came to NoCo Nutrition for a vigil in Vega's honor.
Greeley police arrested a suspect, 24-year-old Marcos Vallejos, in connection to Vega's murder. He is being held on first-degree murder and sexual assault charges.
A verified GoFundMe has been created for anyone who would like to help Vega's family and her kids.