It's been over a year since Patricia Guardado disappeared on her way to class and was later found murdered. Since then, time has passed, but the grief and the questions remain.
At a vigil marking the one year anniversary of Guardado's death, friends, family and even those who didn't know the young woman gathered to light candles and honor her memory. Among all of them a question lingered.
"Whatever happened to Paty," Guardado's mother, Leonor Garcia, asked through a translator. "We haven't heard anything.
Garcia spent her time at the vigil alternately clinging to family members and crying.
"Justice is the best thing we can ask for," she said.
By all accounts, her daughter was a hard worker with a big heart who had never been involved in criminal activity. But on October 12, 2011, Patricia Guardado disappeared. Her car found parked in a lot across the street from the UALR campus. She was supposed to be in class. The usually prompt Guardado didn't show, but police officers did.
"I walked back into class, the credits were rolling, and the students were obviously very agitated and asked me,said, did you know what just happened," recalls UALR Spanish Professor Erin Finzer. Ironically, the students had just watched a film documenting violence against women in Mexico. The credits were rolling when students learned of Guardado's disappearance.
Four days later her body was discovered in a Sweet Home pond in Pulaski County. The Little Rock Police Department provided no explantion of how she died and no suspect. Over a year later, it's still the same story.
"It's somewhat rare that you get to a point where you're just not receiving anything," explained Little Rock Police Sergeant Cassandra Davis.
At one point, The Arkansas Times reported police were looking into a suspect involved in an attempted kidnapping at the Rave Theater in Little Rock.
All Davis would say about that theory was "nothing ever became of that."
The lead detective's investigation has led him to believe there is someone in Little Rock who knows something about what happened to Guardado.
"He feels confident that there are some people who have some information, but they are not really sure about sharing that information with detectives," Davis said. She acknowledged a language and cultural barrier between the department and the Hispanic community is a challenge.
Davis said people with information can remain anonymous, even take their information to the Mexican Consulate if they prefer. There is a reward for anyone who can lead police to Guardado's killer.
Guardado's family and friends are begging for information.
"If something's going on, if they know anything, they saw anything, just let the police know, " Garcia pleaded.
Two of Guardado's classmates echoed similar sentiments.
"We do want to see this solved, we do want to have closure for her family, for the community," said Serena Harris, a UALR senior.
"You shouldn't be afraid, especially if they're worried about document status whether or not they have documents, it's doesn't matter," Guardado's classmate and friend, Holly Ajanel said.
Guardado's mother and others we spoke to expressed some frustration over the police department's inability to close the case.
"I just feel like they're very, very slow in their investigation," said Garcia with the look of a mother desperate for answers.
In October, Guardado's classmates and professor set up an altar at UALR to honor their friend.
It was a way "just to let everyone know we haven't forgotten about her," explained Ajanel.
A look out into the crowd gathered at the vigil proved that the community has not forgotten this young woman. Her family certainly has not forgotten her. They are all simply holding out hope someone out there will honor Guardado's life with the truth.