Mourners say goodbye to MHS student who died in NovemberAs attendees made the solemn walk to their seats, music floated softly from the choir, audibly caressing the ears of church leaders, police officers and the friends and family of Jasmine Guevara. Nearly 200 people came to the Holy Family Catholic Church to say goodbye to a young girl remembered for her smile and tendency to live life as if there were no tomorrow.
By: Austin Kaus, The Daily Republic
As attendees made the solemn walk to their seats, music floated softly from the choir, audibly caressing the ears of church leaders, police officers and the friends and family of Jasmine Guevara.
Nearly 200 people came to the Holy Family Catholic Church to say goodbye to a young girl remembered for her smile and tendency to live life as if there were no tomorrow.
“She just loved life,” said the Rev. Father Larry Regynski. “I think that’s why, for a lot of people — even people that didn’t know Jasmine — were so touched by what happened because (of) her youth, her energy, her electricity in life.”
Guevara, 16 years old and a student at Mitchell High School, was killed Nov. 10. Her body was found burned beyond recognition in her car about three miles southeast of Mitchell. The two people accused of causing her death, Alexander Salgado, 21, and a juvenile known only as M.D., have been arrested and await their day in court
During the ceremony, evidence of the youthful spirit embodied by Guevara could be seen in the crowd. Brightly-colored coats and headbands could be seen interspersed among adults adorned in traditional mourning colors. A teenage girl recorded most of the ceremony on her digital camera.
Representatives from various area police organizations, including the Hanson County Sheriff’s Office and the Mitchell Police Division, sat solemnly in front of the white casket before the ceremony began.
Court documents allege that Salgado and M.D. asked Guevara for a ride to Wal-Mart to purchase lighter fluid before she was killed. The lighter fluid, which Salgado allegedly said would be used for a cookout, is supposedly the same that ignited Guevara’s car.
As family and friends dabbed tears from their eyes, Regynski compared Guevara’s natural generosity and empathy to that of Jesus himself.
“She believed in the goodness of people, especially those who were hurting in any way,” Regynski said. “Jasmine’s ... love came from her heart.”
During the ceremony, verses and hymns were sung in Spanish. As the mourners exited the building, “Amor Eterno” — Spanish for “eternal love” — by Juan Gabriel echoed throughout the cathedral.
“Although not everybody here speaks English, not everybody here speaks Spanish, today our tears speak one language of how sad we are,” Regynski said.
Regynski advised mourners to emulate Jasmine’s sense of love and joy.
“Jasmine, we will miss you. We will always remember the gift that you gave us, the gift of knowing that life is full of joy and love,” Regynski said. “You will always be our Jasmine, the Jasmine we can’t wait to see again. May you rest in peace.”