Friends of Woman Attacked Near Venice Canals Hold Candlelight Vigil

Friends of Woman Attacked Near Venice Canals Hold Candlelight Vigil

The canals of Venice, Calif., on Feb. 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service
City News Service


Updated: 6/14/2024


Friends of Sarah Alden, one of two women who were attacked, sexually assaulted and beaten more than two months ago near the Venice Canals, gathered for a candlelight vigil June 13.
Ms. Alden, 53, had been in a coma since the April 6 attack, and was declared brain dead last month. Friends said she was taken off life support on May 24, after her organs were harvested for donation.
The candlelight vigil was held in the canal area, and it included a violinist playing on a boat.
The alleged assailant, Anthony Francisco Jones, 29, was arrested in San Diego a few days following the attacks and charged with two counts of forcible rape and one count each of sexual penetration by use of force, mayhem, torture, attempted murder and sodomy by use of force.
Following Ms. Alden’s death, the District Attorney’s Office announced that Mr. Jones had also been charged with murder.
“Our hearts and deepest sympathies go out to the victim’s family and friends during this unimaginably tragic time,'' District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement May 28 announcing the murder charge.
“We are committed to seeking justice for both victims of these heinous crimes. The additional murder charge carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, in addition to the life sentences for the crimes previously alleged.'’
According to the Los Angeles Police Department and prosecutors, the first attack occurred about 10:30 p.m. April 6 in the 2700 block of Strongs Drive, where Ms. Alden was approached from behind and struck with a blunt object, leaving her unconscious.
The suspect similarly attacked another woman about an hour later as she was walking near the Sherman Canal. That woman also suffered severe injuries but survived.
Ms. Alden, a Massachusetts resident, was a mother of two sons and in the process of moving to Venice when the attack occurred.
According to a GoFundMe page established to help pay funeral expenses, she was planning to meet two close friends for breakfast on April 7 to tell them she was moving.
“She was a lover of sunrises on the East Coast and sunsets on the West Coast,'‘ a friend wrote on the page. ”Sarah adored her two sons, her animals, and was blessed with a refined eye for vintage jewelry which she sold on At 53 years old, Sarah was looking to start a new chapter in her journey; to walk a new road. Instead, her life was violently taken from her.’’

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