VIENNA, Va. (WUSA) -- Friends and former classmates of a murdered Falls Church teenager said an emotional goodbye at James Madison High School in Vienna, where Vanessa Pham graduated last year. The body of 19-year-old was discovered on Sunday, inside a car that had crashed into a ditch off of Route 50. Police determined her death was a homicide.
"She was one of the nicest people I ever met in my life," said a college friend.
One by one, grief-stricken friends remembered Vanessa Pham and wondered who could possibly murder such a beautiful, talented and compassionate young woman.
"I can't even think of a person," said another close friend, through tears.
Pham had just finished her freshman year at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. A talented artist, the 19-year-old was studying fashion design.
"I met Vanessa at school in Savannah. She was my girlfriend," said Aaron Apsley.
Pham and Apsley had been counting the days until he flew from Ohio to Virginia to reunite and meet her family. Ironically, this was the day he'd planned to arrive.
"She taught me what it feels like to be loved and to love someone in a way that I never felt before, and I know she hadn't either. And now she's teaching me to deal with something I never expected either," said Apsley.
An only child, Pham had just returned home to spend the summer with her mother and grandmother.
"I just wish she was here so she could see all of you. She loves all of you guys so much," sobbed a childhood friend.
"I just can't believe somebody murdered one of my best friends," cried another. "I can't believe in the little town of Vienna, Vanessa Pham got murdered."
Pham's mother told 9NEWS NOW she had to take out a $40,000 loan so her daughter could attend the prestigious Savannah College of Art and Design. Now, her daughter's friends are trying to raise money to pay for her funeral.
Contributions can be made to:
Navy Federal Credit Union
Vanessa Pham Memorial Fund
P.O. Box 3100
Merrifield, VA 22119-3100
Written by Andrea McCarren
9NEWS NOW & WUSA9.COM