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Family holds vigil for woman found dead in submerged car

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A roadside vigil was held Wednesday night in memory of a 23-year-old woman found dead inside a BMW submerged in Otay Lakes.

A California Highway Patrol officer, along with the victim's relatives, said the descriptions of two bodies found inside the car matched those in the missing persons reports for Milyn Elizabeth Chew, also known as Milyn Navarro, and her coworker, 18-year-old Aser Elsharkawy.

Chew's mother, aunt and brother gathered with about 100 other family members and friends near the crash site.

Liceth Navarro, Milyn's aunt, told FOX 5 her niece was a beautiful person who was filled with love and had a bright future.

"Milyn is a very good person, very smart,"  Liceth said. "She went to college. She had a brilliant future. She wanted to be a designer."

Police found the car Tuesday night as they were investigating the two disappearances.

“The vehicle that we pulled out from the water matches the vehicle that they were looking for in their missing person’s case. The individuals inside also match the descriptions of the individuals they were looking for in that missing person’s case,” CHP Officer Jake Sanchez said.

Officers said Elsharkawy was driving the car. Investigators were working to determine if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

"Right now we're suspecting that it occurred around the same time frame when they...thought they went missing," Sanchez said. "Right now it looks like a solo vehicle had just left the roadway at a high rate of speed and unfortunately overturned and ended up in the water...overturned probably several times before it ended up in the water so that would explain the heavy damage to the vehicle."

Around 2:15 a.m. Sunday, Chew, also known as Milyn Navarro, left her boyfriend's home in San Ysidro and drove to her family's house in eastern Chula Vista, according to police.

Later that morning, her family found Milyn's car parked at the home and her keys hung up inside the house. They could not find Milyn, whose phone went straight to voicemail. Milyn was supposed to work later but never showed.

Phone records show she had contact with Elsharkawy around 2:30 a.m. that morning.

Liceth said her niece had gone to the lake to just talk with Elsharkaway.

"She didn't do anything wrong. She was trying to help a friend, a coworker," Liceth said. "He broke up with her girlfriend like two weeks ago and she told me that he was very nice."

Elsharkawy's family described him as a good student who dreamed of becoming an aerospace engineer.

Anyone with information should contact Chula Vista police at 619-691-5151, or Detective Molina at 619-691-5178 or amolina@chulavistapd.org.