Car wash fundraiser held for slain Escondido police officer's family

ESCONDIDO, Calif. - Law enforcement officers from around San Diego County took part in a car wash Sunday to help the family of a slain Escondido police officer.

Those who knew Officer Laura and others who did not gave up their Sunday to help raise money for the love of her life.

"She just loved her daughter, talked about her daughter all the time and what she was doing was to provide a good life for her daughter," said Escondido police detective Juliette Barnes.

Police say Laura's husband, Freddy Perez Rodas, admitted he shot her and then took her body to a storage facility before trying to burn down their home last month.

Barnes was Laura's coworker and instructor at the Palomar College Police Academy.

She says the money raised will go toward the needs of Laura's daughter – for clothes, childhood activities and college savings.

"The law enforcement family takes care of each other," said Barnes.

Chula Vista police Officer Rachel Yates was friends with Laura in the academy. She has kept in touch with her 4-year-old daughter Suzette.

"Every time I see her, she runs and gives me a big hug and a kiss and I always have toys for her," said Yates. "She's such a strong little girl. She's just like her mother."

Laura is remembered as a strong mother whose compassion shined and touched so many in Escondido.

"I've been homeless and there's a couple times I was just sitting out there, had nowhere to go … she would stop and ask if I needed anything," said Anita Saucedo.

Last week, hundreds of law enforcement agents from around the country paid tribute to Laura with a full-on procession and a massive flag draped from a ladder engine.

"I think we have a long road of healing in our department and those who knew her, it's just unimaginable," said Barnes.

The department and community are still grieving over the first officer to die in such a violent way.

More car washes are planned in the future for Laura's family.

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