DETROIT (WJBK) - She was engaged to be married and held five degrees - Alonda Cathey's future was looking bright.
But late last night family members discovered she had been shot to death. Now her own cousin could be charged with robbing her -- and killing her.
She had been missing for 24 hours and although no one had seen or heard from her, her credit card was used at a nearby liquor store. Police went there and found her vehicle and the suspect inside of it. When they came back to her house, they found her body inside.
"I definitely know all of you knew her personally and were her friends so thank you for coming out," said her fiancé Danny Epps, at Wednesday's vigil.
It was the first of many goodbyes as a handful of friends and those who were soon to be family gathered to remember 40-year-old Alonda Cathey.
They say she was generous, hardworking and smart.
"She was a great person, she would've did anything for anybody you know," Epps said.
Danny Epps was going to marry Alonda - but instead of planning a wedding, he's preparing for a funeral. A harsh truth that has yet to fully sink in.
"I've known her since we was 8 years old," he said.
Sometimes words fail in the face of tragedy. Cathey was murdered inside of her home on Cooper Street near Gratiot and I-94.
Police found her body there Tuesday night. Epps says the man police have in custody is her cousin.
"He was around the house doing some work for her," Epps said. "She was really doing good for this guy and this is family. Nobody could even think this would happen."
"We went to the movies, shopping like that was like my one of my girl best friends," said Indya Epps, Danny's niece. "We love you Alonda for real. We're going to miss you."
"It's just such a tragedy for this to happen," said Ronnie Mitchell, a childhood friend. "I just wish the world was a better place right now
Police say they are holding the suspect on for possession of a stolen vehicle. They plan to pass along findings to the prosecutor's office and that could happen Thursday.