Family and friends hold rosary for Laura Garza

Images of the vibrant and always smiling Laura Garza adorned the L&I Funeral Home in Peitas Friday.

The 25 year olds life was cut short while during her 6 month stint in New York.

Her dreams of becoming a dancer came to a tragic end.

With her ashes back in the Rio Grande Valley, Garza TMs family and friends finally got the chance to pay their respects Friday during a rosary.

"We made a promise to my mother that were going to bring her home, Ivan Garza, Laura Garza TMs brother said. And although we couldn TMt bring her home like we wanted to, at least now we'll know where she is."

Laura Garza moved to New York in the summer of 2008 to pursue a dancing career.

In December of that same year, she disappeared after leaving a Manhattan nightclub with Michael Mele, a registered sex offender and now primary suspect in her death.

In April 2010, the young woman's remains were found in a field near Scranton, Penn.

Her family said she is now more than just a memory.

"Her mom had already decided that she wanted us to wear white, you know, for purity, an aunt said. And her angel - because that's what she is to us is our angel - she's our guardian angel."

Garza's family remembers the young woman as someone full of life, happy, passionate about dance and her family.

They are hoping justice for her premature death will be served.

"There's a God who knows what happened and I hope the law will follow through with their investigation, Ivan Garza said. I TMm glad that New York doesn TMt have a death penalty, but I just want the person responsible to pay for what they did."

Garza is gone physically, but her family said her captivating smile is something that will live on forever.

"Those people who knew my sister, Ivan Garza said, when they see someone with a smile as beautiful as hers, they TMre going to remember her.

A Mass will be held March 12, 2011 at 10 a.m. at San Juan Bautista in San Juan.