A reader wondered if an online page he found to donate to Annette Aoki–the mother of Ali Syed's presumed first murder victim in Ladera Ranch, Courtney Aoki–was legitimate, especially in light of the phony money-collecting sites that sprang up after the Sandy Hook tragedy.
So the Weekly asked the Orange County Sheriff's Department if it knew of a safe place to give in the 20-year-old Buena Park woman's memory, and that agency's Homicide Victims Services office responded with the same online page the reader had found.
This is it:
As of Wednesday afternoon, the page organized by San Clemente's Liz McQueen showed $556 in donations to help Annette Aoki "get through this difficult time."
Media reports reveal the slain woman's mother was experiencing financial difficulties, including the possible loss of an apartment she was raising another daughter in, before Courtney's body was found.
The Orange County Sheriff's Department received a call from 20-year-old Syed's parents at the condo at 5 Red Leaf Lane around 4:45 a.m. Feb. 19 that the body of a woman they did not know was there, but their son was not. He was believed to have driven off in the family SUV. Syed would be blamed for killing two men in Tustin and Santa Ana and firing random rounds on Orange County freeways before taking his own life later that morning in Villa Park.
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