Vigil for slain mother of five held: Body of Mirella Alas found in truck at SDPD headquarters
Americus De Orenday charged with Alas' murder
Last Updated: 70 days ago
SAN DIEGO - Nearly 200 friends and family gathered at Hoover High School Sunday to remember a women who police say was killed at the hands of her estranged husband.
Mirella Alas was found strangled in front of San Diego Police Headquarters downtown Sept. 24.
Her estranged husband, Americus De Orenday now sits behind bars on a million dollars bail, charged with her murder.
The vigil was a powerful, but heart-wrenching gathering for family and friends of Alas. The woman's children, including two young twin sons stood with lit candles as others nearby prayed in silence.
“It is very difficult, but we are here to support them, we are here for them,” said longtime friend of the victim Abby Chinnis.
Chinnis told 10News that Mirella loved her children and her church.
“Mirella was a fine lady, always happy, always smiling her devotion and care was for her children," Chinnis said.
Thursday, 10News was inside a packed downtown courtroom as Alas' husband pleaded not guilty to her murder.
It was there where we learned details about the night of her murder. That she disappeared the night of Sept. 21, last seen with her husband, as he dropped off the children to her.
She told her teenage daughter Leslie, “I'll be right back."
Alas’ teenage daughter feared the worst and called police. But it wasn't until Sunday afternoon when Mirella was a no-show at work that a missing persons report was filed.
She was found dead the next morning.
One by one, friends took to a microphone at the vigil giving Alas' oldest daughter Leslie their support as she now cares for her young siblings.
“I feel your loss, stay strong,” said one young man at the podium. “Your mom is going to be looking after you, stay strong, they need you more than anything.”
De Orenday remains behind bars, if convicted of her murder, he could get 25 years to life in prison.
Mirella's five children are now staying with family -- a bank account is now being set up in their names to help with living expenses and the funeral which will be held next weekend.
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