Friends find closure after learning of arrest in Pham murder - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Friends find closure after learning of arrest in Vanessa Pham murder case

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Vanessa Pham Vanessa Pham

News of an arrest in Vanessa Pham's murder is bittersweet for the people who knew her best - friends who have had more than a just passing interest in the investigation.

"I can't even tell you the feelings," Erin Donnelly says. "Just a whirlwind of emotions. We're happy. Relieved. At the same time, angry and sad."

Donnelly, Valerie Keeling and Min Kim were three of Vanessa Pham's best friends.

"There's not a day that goes by that we don't think of her and what went on," says Keeling. "For the past two-and-a-half years, we've been waiting for this to happen. It's been like the present you're waiting to open. We finally found it and we finally get some closure."

We met the young women in Vienna, Va., where in the Town Square two years ago, they helped to dedicate a park bench in Pham's memory.

"A lot of our friends live in Vienna," Donnelly says. "(Vanessa) was always in Vienna with us. We hung out here a lot, and she actually went over to the Town Green a lot with friends to picnic and do things like that, so it's just a great reminder for us, and we can go over there and sit on her bench and remember her and it's really special to us."

On this night, the town is hosting a holiday celebration in the square where residents are just learning the news that Pham's suspected killer has been arrested.

"I'm sure it's a huge relief for the family," says Pauline Knipe. "But it doesn't make it any less sad for them. But it's a good thing if it's the right person. It's a great thing that he's not on the street."

The construction site where suspect Julio Miguel Blanco-Garcia was arrested is half a mile from the town square.

"We know for a fact she did not know who the killer was and we didn't know him at all," says Min Kim. "She was at the wrong place at the wrong time. So she became the victim of somebody she didn't know."

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