A gathering will take place at Rolland Starn Park in Hughson this evening to mark the one-year anniversary of the birthday and death of homicide victim Lauren Grace London.
Today would have been the 26th birthday of London, whose burned body turned up in a Blaker Road orchard south of Ceres a year ago today. The Sheriff's Department is investigating all leads but has not made an arrest.
The public is invited to the event, set to begin at 6 p.m. at the park, 1914 Tully Road in Hughson.
"It's going to be a celebration of her life," said longtime friend Taylor Eastham. "We're doing this more of a birthday celebration, not really focusing on it as a year since she passed away."
Cookies and balloons will be a part of the celebration and a time will be opened up to friends and family to reflect on Lauren's life.
Eastham played softball with Lauren and her while attending Hughson High School. The two fell away from each other but were pregnant at the same time.
"We were both going to be single moms and we kind of bonded in that. We did a lot of things together as far as pregnancy goes. We were neck and neck. She had her daughter in April and I had my son in August. We were each other's support system."
Eastham is planning the event with Lauren's mother, Denise London Donnell.
"The way we look at it, the more we circulate her name and her information and let people know you can take her away from us physically but you will never steal her from us in memories and spirit," said Eastham.