Family of Girl Found in Yakima River Speaks - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Family of Girl Found in Yakima River Speaks

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SUNNYSIDE, Wash--  It was a quiet gathering for friends and family of Francisca Ramirez on Sunday.  The 14-year-old had been missing since late October.  Police called it a runaway.  News of her death is a shock to the family.

"We had hopes maybe she had just left and was going to come back," says Ramirez's sister-in-law Marbylyn Torres.  "We just can't believe it.   It's like a dream, I don't really know how to explain."

Ramirez's body was pulled from the Yakima River on Thursday, when a Prosser family spotted it near their dock.  Investigators aren't saying how long her body was in the water, except that it was an extended period of time.  The Benton County Coroner says Francisca's death was not accidental.  Now the family is saying they don't think she ever ran away.  

"She was happy where she was with her mom," says Torres.  "Her mom and her were good friends, so I don't think she would runaway."

The Ramirez family has seen tragedy before.  Just two months ago, Francisca's older brother Pedro died.

"They just lost someone recently, and now to lose someone else."

Now the family is left asking questions as the Yakima Sheriff's Office does its part to piece together the puzzle.

"She was a happy person.   She was a nice girl."