'She didn’t deserve this': Friends, family of Mercedes Vega ask for help amid search for suspect

Officials with the Phoenix Police Department held a news conference Tuesday afternoon in connection with a murder that happened earlier in 2023.

According to a statement released on Nov. 27, officials with Silent Witness, along with friends and members of Mercedes Vega's family, will "share how this tragic event has left them devastated and feeling as if they are living a nightmare" during the news conference.

Family members were visibly emotional during the news conference, as they shared their stories with the victim. 

"She was my baby. I miss her. It's so hard to believe that she's gone," said Vega's mother, Erika Pillsbury. "It's so hard to believe I'm never going to see her again. I miss her so much. She was so bright. She was such a beautiful, sweet, kind soul, and she didn't deserve this. She didn't deserve what happened to her."

"I do want someone to come forward. We need to put this to rest," said Vegas' father, Thomas Pillsbury. "No one's family deserves what we're going through."

We reported on Vegas' murder in October. According to our report at the time, Vega was last seen around Mill Avenue in Tempe with her friends the night before she was found dead on April 17.

According to police, Vega was found at around 12:30 a.m. on April 17 inside a burning vehicle near the Tonopah area.

"Silent Witness’ hope is this case can be solved with help from our community using Silent Witness as a conduit for anonymous tipsters," read a portion of Phoenix Police's statement on Nov. 27.

Anyone with information should leave an anonymous tip by calling Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. Spanish speakers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Testigo Silencioso at 480-TESTIGO.

(Si tiene alguna información sobre este caso, llame a la línea de Testigo Silencioso [480-TESTIGO, 480-837-8446.])

Silent Witness