SAN DIEGO, California - The office was closed but a few Filipinos passed by the LBC Express in San Diego's Mira Mesa neighborhood to confirm their fears that well-loved worker Raquel Morales was dead.
"Last night, sa news. Kaya ako nagpunta para malaman ko, to verify sya talaga si Raquel. It's so bad talaga I was so devastated dahil di akalain nangyari ang ganito especially sa kanyang office," said Morales' friend, Lita Navarro.
Another friend, Nelson Ocampo said, "Masakit para sa amin. Napaka-bait niyang tao. Marami siya naitutulong sa amin."
Local reports said, police found the 63-year-old Morales dead inside the store with her body showing signs of trauma early Sunday morning.
Friends of the Morales family said Raquel's husband had gone to the shop when she did not come home after her closing shift.
He called the police from a nearby payphone around midnight on Sunday.
Police then found Morales' body inside.
Friends said, the helpful Morales, originally from Manila, has been working at the branch for at least five years.
She lived in the area along with her husband and children, while she still had at least one child in the Philippines.
"Kilala sya dahil mabait na tao siya. Kita mo marami naawa sa kanya kung bakit nangyari sa kanya ito," added Ocampo.
Friends and family are now holding nightly prayer services at their home.
A representative said the family, especially the husband, will not talk to media especially while the investigation is ongoing.
San Diego police have released very few details, but because Morales works at a business known for money transactions involving cash, community members suspect that criminal acts may have led to her death.
"Baka mayroong hinihingi sa kanya hindi nya naibigay. You never can tell when you are dealing with the public," said Navarro.
LBC's U.S. office has yet to release an official statement, but they expressed their sadness to Balitang America as they await word from the authorities.
San Diego Police have asked anyone with possible tips to contact Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.