Hundreds gathered in a Mission, B.C. park Thursday night to remember Rachel Pernosky, the 18-year-old mother found murdered this week.

Family and friends spent the night honouring the young woman’s life, remembering Pernosky as a young woman with an infectious laugh, and a bright smile.

As daylight faded, the crowd in Heritage Park grew, with an estimated 400 to 500 mourners.

Her friend Rachael Verschuren said she was still in shock.

“You always think it’s something that would never happen to someone that you know, but it’s good to be with people who loved her throughout the years.”

In Pictures: Remembering Rachel Pernosky

Pernosky was remembered as a loving mother to her one-year-old son Marco.

Friend Cassidy Scott spoke to the crowd, saying the slain mom “would be in our hearts forever.”

“She would be very touched to see how much everything cared and how much everyone loved her and we know she’s looking down on us, smiling,” she said, through tears.

Pernosky was last seen early Saturday morning at her Mission home. Her purse and cell phone were later found inside.

Neighbour Leila James told CTV News she saw the teen just after midnight with a man outside her home, but didn’t see anything that would have made her think to contact police.

“Everything looked normal,” James said. “She just looked like she was hanging out with a friend.”

Pernosky’s body was found Tuesday evening down a steep embankment in Chilliwack.

Police say the cause of death may not be made public but they are following up on tips and have a number of persons of interest in the case.