"She's my friend, my best friend. I feel like I lost more than a sister," said Debbie Rodriguez, McVay's sister.
"She was a real kind person, would do anything for anybody," said Nelson McVay, Denise's uncle.
Loved ones say the 49-year-old mother of one was shy and quiet, but always loving. "She was a person that really kept to herself," Rodriguez said. "But once she made a friend they were always her friend."
"She always had a smile on her face, said McVay's former patient, Judy Paine. Denise worked at Kings Nursing center in Hanford as a certified nurse's assistant for nearly three years.
Hanford Police say McVay was washing her car before dawn when her killer crept up behind her. Denise's throat was slashed and she was stabbed more than 30 times, according to police.
"She didn't deserve this," said the victim's mother, Nelda McVay. "She wasn't a person who was out and about. She was going about her business, doing what she had to do."
Hanford Police arrested 17-year-old /*Jose Saldana*/, a known gang member, after they say he admitted to killing Denise for fun. On Tuesday, Saldana pleaded not guilty in the case. Another teen, 18-year-old /*Mauricio Ortiz*/ has been charged with helping Saldano after the murder.
At the memorial, the McVay family took time to thank the detectives who arrested the two teens. "We've placed everything in God's hands and we feel there is going to be justice done," Rodriguez said.
Denise's father, Bob, did not attend Thursday's services. His family said he's just too emotional. Another service to remember Denise is planned for Friday afternoon at /*Lemoore Naval Air Station*/. Denise worked a second job there.