The death of a woman whose body was found her Grover Beach home last week is the city’s first homicide of the year.
“She just loved life,” said the victim’s friend, Sherise Villamor.
Those who knew Athena Valentiny are remembering her.
“Her and I connected from the very beginning,” Villamore explained. “She’s a good person, she’s strong, very loving and caring.”
Last Thursday morning, the 64-year-old was found stabbed to death in her home on South 9th Street.
“She didn’t deserve that. She didn’t. There’s nothing about her that would deserve that,” Villamor explained.
Valentiny had worked at the California Men’s Colony as a licensed vocational nurse since 2013, according to CMC officials. She started with the Department of Corrections in 2011.
In her free time, she walked her dog, which police say is missing following the killing.
“I just can’t wrap my head around it. I think about her every day,” Villamor said.
While investigators are following several leads, they’re also asking for the public’s help.
“Even if you think to you it seems small or not helpful, it may be the one thing that leads us in the right direction,” said Commander Simm Miller, Grover Beach Police Department.
Police couldn’t say whether Valentiny was targeted by someone she knew or if it was random.
“I can say that nothing suggests that there’s any danger to the community,” Commander Miller added.
In the meantime, her friend grapples with an unexpected loss of someone she describes as a “ball of light.”
“She just cared about her life – life and being happy,” Villamor concluded.
Police say if you saw anything suspicious last Wednesday or Thursday in the area of South 9th Street to give them a call.
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow says they are leading the investigation of this case and are working to develop persons of interest.