Jenni Rivera fans gather at family home
Dozens of fans of Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera made their way to the performer's Lakewood home on Friday morning to pay their respects, hours after her remains arrived in Southern California.
Balloons, pictures, flowers, handmade posters and candles surrounded a small tree at the front of the home. Fans gathered at the curb, adding to the collection of items in the memorial and taking pictures.
Other fans drove past, playing and singing Rivera's music, pausing at the site to take photos.
Rivera, 43, and six others were killed when the jet they were flying in crashed early Sunday morning near Iturbide, Mexico.
Aide Gonzalez, 38, of Compton said she and her sister, Cecilia Luna, of Lynwood arrived about 8:30 a.m. to bid farewell to a woman who they said inspired them to move past any struggles.
"I loved her songs; they were about love, her sufferings and good times." Gonzalez said. "We didn't know her as a friend. But through her songs, you, as a woman, identified with her," Gonzalez said, holding her 3-year-old son Jesse.
She said she came to Lakewood because she wanted to have one final memory of the star.
Driving slowly and stopping by to take video of the memorial site, Francis Ubeda of Long Beach, said she came to say goodbye.
"She inspired me," Ubeda said. "Despite her sufferings, she fought hard to move past them."
She said she felt empathy for the family.
"They're going through a difficult time," she said.
-- Ruben Vives in Lakewood
Photo: Cecilia Banuelos and her son, Joseph Banuelos, 12, of Paramount, pay their respects to Jenni Rivera outside her mother's home in Lakewood on Friday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times