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While many have been busy making the most out of the first days of 2018, one woman never got to see the new year.

On the evening of Dec. 28, police found 23-year-old openly lesbian Kerrice Lewis dead in the trunk of a burning vehicle, according to Fox 5 D.C. Once the flames were extinguished, officials discovered that Lewis had suffered from multiple gunshot wounds, leading the police to begin a full investigation.

For family and friends of the slain victim the news of her death is heartbreaking. Lewis’ grandfather William Sharp, who raised her after her parents died when she was 11 years old, describes the incident as “devastating.”

“Can't put it in words,” said Sharp. “Her mother died of a brain aneurysm and her father was tragically murdered up in the D.C. area. Anytime you lose a family member, especially like this, it just rips your heart out. People like that need to be off our streets for the safety of all of us.”

Her ex-girlfriend Mercedes Rouhlac knew something was wrong when Lewis was not answering her multiple phone calls. Rouhlac said that although they were not together anymore, their bond was inseparable.

“That was my ex-girlfriend, but no matter what she still loved me and my son. I talked to her everyday,” Rouhlac told ABC 7 Washington.