As authorities prepare their case against the suspect in a Tuesday's double homicide, friends and family are remembering and honoring the victims of the tragedy.
Police believe that Jonathan Chacon, 23, killed Vicki Bergman and her daughter, Courtney, early Tuesday morning before fleeing the city. Chacon was arrested in Mexico early Wednesday morning and transferred to the custody of the . His arraignment on two counts of murder is set for Friday morning.
On Tuesday evening, mourners held a candlelight vigil at —a block away from the crime scene on Rockefeller Lane—to honor the Bergmans. Dozens of people attended the ceremony.
In a comment posted Thursday on Patch, Lelanea McGee-Hall identified herself as a member of the Bergmans' extended family.
"This is devastating for our family," McGee-Hall wrote. "Thank you for the prayers."
Vicki Bergman, 59, most recently worked at T.J. Maxx, according to the Easy Reader; however, she had previously been employed as a nurse.
Robina Gold, who was the Bergmans' neighbor on Mathews Avenue until 10 years ago, remembered Bergman as someone who was "very friendly."
"She was always the first person to come to my defense, if I needed help," Gold wrote in an email to Patch. "We … used to have lawn parties in the courtyard area outside our front doors with good food, drinks and lots of music and laughter."
Courtney Bergman, who left with the class of 2011, worked at the and before that, Jamba Juice. She impressed her co-workers with her bright smile.
"Whenever she came in, she was always smiling," Paul Denbow, who worked as Bergman's supervisor at Jamba Juice, said as he consoled another person in front of the memorial set up at Andrews Park. "Even if she was barely awake."
Denbow described Bergman as "bubbly, energetic … the classic carefree kid."
"She just embodied everything a kid should be," he said.
The Jamba Juice's general manager, who declined to give her name, called Bergman a "classic beach kid" with "beautiful blue eyes." She also said Courtney Bergman was the family's "breadwinner."
Patch commenter LPDJ, who said Bergman was a former employee and co-worker, called her "an absolutey sweet girl"—a sentiment shared by many.
Aislinn Rae Delgado, who met Bergman at a band show in Los Angeles, said that even though the two had known each other for about a year and didn't see each other often, the young woman was a good friend.
"What I loved about her … was her openness with me, and always including me even though we only saw each other very seldom," Delgado said. "She was kind, and she made me smile. She was beautiful and accepting."
Even as a young child, Bergman made an impression on people. Gold said that even as a little girl, Courtney was "absolutely gorgeous and really sweet."
After watching the Kentucky Derby one year, the young Bergman burst into tears because she wanted all the horses to win, Gold said.
"From that day, I have never watched a horse race the same (way)," said Gold. "In fact, I can't even watch them anymore."
In middle school, Bergman was one of the "popular girls," said former classmate Madison Swart.
"Everyone liked her and wanted to hang out with her," Swart said. "She was just that kind of person."