CEDAR PARK, Texas (KXAN) - Police have identified a man they consider to be a "person ofinterest" in the mysterious death of a Cedar Park woman who wasfound in her car in a shopping center parking lot on Mondayafternoon.
Cedar Park police said they suspect foul play in the death ofJessika Kalaher, 27.
The person of interest is described as a white male between theages of 20 and 30 years old. He was approximately 5 feet 8 inchesto 6 feet 2 inches tall with a medium build.
He was last seen wearing a brown-and-yellow mesh baseball cap, abrown T-shirt with a Longhorn emblem on the front and bluejeans.
"We don't want to reveal too many details to jeopardize theinvestigation, but we do believe this fellow has crucialinformation that could help us solve Jessika's death," said CedarPark Police Department Capt. Mike Harmon.
The man's vehicle is described as a maroon mid- to full-sizeolder model single-cab truck with a chrome stripe on back of thetailgate and silver wheels. Anyone seeing the man or his vehiclecan contact the Cedar Park Police Department's CriminalInvestigation Division at (512) 528-8067.
"Bubbly," "outgoing" and "friendly" are the words family membersuse to describe Kalaher.
"She had a lot of family,” said stepbrother JeremiahHenley. “She's got even more friends than she's got family.Everybody around here loved her."
Cedar Park police responded to 202 Walton Way just before 4 p.m.Monday when family members searching for her discovered her car.Kalaher was found inside her Kia parked at the Shops atWhitestone.
Police said there were signs of some minor trauma but nothingthat looked to be life-threatening.
Still, they are calling the death suspicious, and family membersare also searching for answers.
"She was just a happy person," said Henley. "She made yousmile."
Cedar Park Police said they are waiting for autopsy results fromthe Travis County Medical Examiner.
"Unfortunately, it could take a while until all the reports comeback," said Cedar Park Police Department Capt. Jeff Hayes. "Theyhave toxicology reports as well."
Both are standard to any suspicious death investigation.
The Pflugerville High School and Texas State University graduatealso had recently received her teaching certificate. She hoped toteach second grade and filled in at Union Hill Elementary School inRound Rock as a substitute teacher in spring of 2008, according toJoyLynn Occhiuzzi, with the Round Rock Independent SchoolDistrict.
"She was talking about going back to school to get hermaster's," said Henley.
In the meantime, Kalaher was working at H-E-B Plus in Leander.When she did not make it to work Monday morning, she was reportedmissing by family members.
Hours later, her cousin and best friend found her body insideher Kia vehicle at a Cedar Park shopping center. Many of those wholoved Kalaher came to the scene saddened and in disbelief.
"Nobody in the world hated her,” said Henley. “Noone in this world had a reason to dislike her."
With so many unanswered questions, family members are comingtogether trying to focus on their memories instead of theirloss.
“It's kind of hard to be okay but everybody will push eachother through it,” said Henley.
The family has set up a memorial fund to help with funeralexpenses. Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo location underthe “Jessika Kalaher Memorial Fund.”
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