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Vigil held for 18-year-old who died after she was found unconscious in pool

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-13 15:06:13-04

It was a packed house and an emotional night at San Miguel High School in Tucson Wednesday.

The bleachers were full of people, which was not a surprise to those who knew 18-year-old Victoria Arias.

"Everyone loved her," said friend Elisa Castro. "As you can tell so many people showed up. It's just so sad."

A prayer service was held for 18-year-old Victoria Arias Wednesday at the high school. Victoria's parents found her at the bottom of their backyard swimming pool Monday, and Victoria died Wednesday after being in the intensive care unit for days.

Loving, smart and humble are just a few of the words loved ones use to describe Victoria.

Frances Moreno, the vice president of corporate relations at the school, says he met Victoria five years ago. He says she was driven, very giving to her community and loved her Mariachi group.

Victoria graduated from San Miguel High School in May. School officials say nearly all of the 70 people in her graduating class were at the prayer service Wednesday.

One of the top scholars at her school, friends say Victoria loved to sing and was active in student council. Victoria was getting ready to head to college at St. Mary's in Minnesota where she earned an academic scholarship her freshman year of high school.

School officials say Victoria spent two weeks in Minnesota every summer getting ready for college.

Castro says her friend Victoria was unstoppable.

"She had a full ride. Everything was paid for and she deserved it," Castro said. "And it's just so unfortunate that we had to lose her right now, because I know she would have done anything to make it happen."

Investigators say Victoria was a strong lap swimmer who would swim daily and had no medical concerns. It's unclear what happened.

The high school was offering counseling services to students and families.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help Victoria's family pay for funeral expenses.