Maribel Ramirez had 30 minutes to go on her shift as a receptionist in Fontana, California, and decided to log onto Facebook. That’s how she learned that her 26-year-old cousin, Melissa Ramirez, had been at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
That was about 4:30 p.m. Monday. No one could find Melissa in the confusion and chaos that followed the shootings.
“Nothing was confirmed, and we still had hope that she was alive,” Maribel Ramirez told The Associated Press Tuesday.
Melissa’s parents and siblings hurried to Las Vegas from Littlerock, California, after getting word of the shootings.
“They searched Monday ... searched everywhere,” said another cousin, Fabiola Farnetti, 34, of Palmdale, California.
Around 5 a.m. Tuesday, Melissa’s parents positively identified her body.
Farnetti said Melissa had been posting photos from the festival on Instagram and Snapchat. The 2015 graduate of California State University, Bakersfield, Melissa Ramirez worked as a member specialist for an auto insurance company.
“I’m sure she liked country music. I know she was really into music, period,” Farnetti said. “I never once saw her in a bad mood or upset about anything. She was always positive. Her smile would just brighten up everyone’s day.”