OCEANSIDE — The man suspected of killing a beloved preschool teacher was arrested last week in Mexico after remaining at large for more than two months.
Just before 12 p.m. on June 4, Chelsea Pacheco, 22, was riding in a car with some friends when they became involved in an argument with an Oceanside gang member later identified as 25-year-old Vicente Huerta.
As the group was driving away, Huerta fired at their vehicle, striking Pacheco, according to OPD Lt. Taurino Valdovinos.
Pacheco’s friends apparently didn’t realize she had been shot, according to Lt. Valdovinos.
“The reporting party advised their friend was having a panic attack and was having difficulty breathing,” Valdovinos said. “Officers arrived and located a 22-year-old female who was not breathing. Officers provided medical aid until medics arrived and transported her to Tri-City Medical Center, where she was pronounced deceased.”
Police confirmed Huerta is an Oceanside gang member.
Huerta remained at large for more than two months before he was eventually arrested on Aug. 11 in Mexico. The suspect was then brought into custody by Oceanside Police detectives to be booked on a murder warrant.
Known as Ms. Chelsea by her colleagues and students at KinderCare in Oceanside, nearly everyone around her treasured the young daycare teacher.
Pacheco is remembered as always having a smile on her face and loving every student she reached as a teacher.
Pacheco’s coworkers set up a fundraiser to help Pacheco’s family raise funds to pay for funeral expenses, where they so far raised just over $20,000, almost reaching their goal of $25,000.
“If you know her, she was the sweetest, most lovable person you could ever meet with a big heart,” coworker Melissa Ruiz wrote on the GoFundMe website. “No one who met her could forget her smile. Her love and kindness were infused in everything she did for the kids.”
Cynthia Cyncar, Pacheco’s mother, said her daughter was full of life, which helped her to create many unique relationships with the people around her.
“She was always true to herself and genuine, which led her to have multiple friendships,” Cyncar said in a Facebook post. “My princess was energetic, positive, and full of love.”
Pacheco’s viewing and funeral were held in late June at Eternal Hills Cemetery in Oceanside.
“She will be deeply missed, forever loved and never forgotten,” Ruiz said.
— This article includes information from wire reports.
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