EGG HARBOR CITY - The parking lots and side streets around Saraceno's Funeral Home were filled with cars Thursday as friends and family mourned Deanna Downs, a young mother of two gunned down at her apartment complex a dozen days earlier.

The crowd of mourners "shows the type of person she was," said Downs' mother, Teri.

The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office and Egg Harbor City Police Department are still investigating Downs' Oct. 16 death, which was ruled a homicide.

Those assembled Thursday said they could only hope and pray authorities find her killer.

"I couldn't understand why," said Ebony Jackson, a friend since middle school in the city, whose children played with Downs' sons Keith, 10, and Kyle, 8.

Downs is also survived by three brothers, a sister, her paternal grandmother and her fiance, James Sanders.

Downs's mother, who also lives at Harbor City Apartments, has custody of her daughter's children.

"She really loved those boys," Teri Downs said.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked for memorial contributions for the brothers' care, and they also expect to set up a memorial fund at a community bank as well.

Downs was described as a talkative woman who loved the outdoors and reading in her spare time.

She was also a fan of the ID Channel, which stands for Investigation Discovery, featuring a variety of documentaries on murder mysteries and reality shows about crime.

Downs was left dead outside her home on Washington Avenue and found early Sunday morning, Oct. 16. It was the first homicide in a year in the city, but the second fatal incident at that same complex in almost exactly a year's time.

Teri Downs said she couldn't guess what happened to her daughter, but is faithfully waiting to find answers.

Contact Lee Procida:

609-457-8707