ORANGE COUNTY - A Bridge City woman 's killing sending shockwaves through Orange County. Kara Willingham's common law husband admitted to investigators he strangled and beat the 28-year-old. Jorge Elizalde- Sanchez remains in the Orange County jail.
His bond has been set at $1 million but he is not able to bond out due to a hold on the undocumented immigrant.
Kara leaves behind two young children. Those touched by Kara's life are honoring the memory of their friend. Friends and family say she was a beautiful soul.
Kara had just earned a nursing degree and was working toward becoming a Registered Nurse so she could help others. Now that mission to make a difference will have to be carried on by those who loved her, in her memory.
"I've just cried non-stop because my heart hurts so bad for them," said Jessica Dunmire.
The childhood friend says the pain is heart-wrenching after learning Kara was murdered Wednesday night. Dunmire says Kara deserves to be remembered for all the good that she brought to this world.
"I want people to remember her for the loving person that she was," said Dunmire.
The Orange County mom met Kara in 7th grade. The girls clicked right away.
"She was one of the few that welcomed me and made me feel like a part of the Bridge City family."
The memories continue to roll in on social media.
Stephanie Goff said, "She was the most giving person to everyone. Not to long ago, she came over at midnight to kill a wolf spider in my bathroom because I am scared to death of spiders. Afterwards we sat on my bathroom floor and we laughed at it."
Another family friend says she admires Kara's dedication to her education.
Jacinda Odom said, "[She's] such a sweet person. I was so proud of her with two kids and putting herself through college. Her future was so bright."
Kara graduated as an LVN from Lamar State College Orange last month. The College confirms she was enrolled and working on becoming a Registered Nurse.
In a statement the school said:
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the loss of Kara Willingham... Kara was extremely bright with a positive attitude and winning smile. She was admired tremendously by her classmates and respected deeply by the faculty of the nursing program. The administration, faculty, staff, and students respectfully offer their heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Kara. She will be greatly missed."
Now the community is rallying around the family members left behind and cherishing the sweet memories of their precious Kara.
Former classmates are coordinating a fundraiser for Kara's family. More details will be posted as plans are finalized.
To visit a GoFundMe page set up for the family click here: Willingham Relief Fund
(© 2016 KBMT)