A hiker found 23-year-old Sarah Strobel's body along a path at the Froehlich Farm Nature Preserve about 150 feet in on Thursday morning.
Detectives say her death is criminal, but they don't know whether she died there and they don't know who killed her.
As they unravel the mystery, Strobel's friends are mourning her death.
In the silence of night, they used candles to dispel the darkness.
About three dozen friends of 23-year-old Sarah Strobel gathered in front of her family's home.
Rebecca Stander sat alone on the front steps.
That time, her friend Sarah wasn't there to share the moment.
"I felt like the one person I knew forever and knew everything about, I'd just never see them again," Stander said.
"She was way too young, way too young. She had so much life to live. She was so full of life and loved it so much to have it taken away from her so quickly was just a crime in itself," said Rebecca Greenblatt, the victim's friend.
It's a crime that police are working to solve.
"The cause of death is unknown," police said.
The medical examiner has yet to say how Strobel died and it's not clear whether she died at the nature preserve or somewhere else.
Crime scene investigators carefully combed through the brush as they removed evidence and photographed the scene.
Strobel's friends are struggling with the loss.
They never got to say goodbye.
"I just wish she had more time to see how many people loved her and loved her presence and everything about her," Stander said.
Detectives are asking anyone with information on this case to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.