Family remembers Cecilia and Neveah Tuuaga

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Candles lit up the vigil, Dec. 2, to honor a mother and daughter who family members say lit up their lives in much the same way.

Cecilia "Celia" and Neveah "China" Tuuaga (Courtesy Teloso Tuuaga)

Cecilia Tuuaga, 30, and her daughter Neveah Tuuaga, 13, are believed to be the victims of a homicide involving two bodies found inside a burning vehicle in East Anchorage Nov. 30. The bodies haven’t been positively identified yet because of the extent of their injuries, but further investigation has led authorities to charge Tylan Fely, Cecilia Tuuaga’s husband and Neveah’s father, with their murder.

Family members of the two met Friday evening to remember Cecilia and Neveah, better known to the family as Celia and China, respectively.

“Their smile and everything they did, it was always uplifting,” said Marlina, Cecilia’s sister. “They were always willing to give."

They say the two loved nearly every sport, but especially rugby. The two were apparently great in any position, but especially loved defending.

“We go on the sideline with our mom and she goes ‘run 'em over,’” said Silika, China’s cousin. “Ok, that's the plan, break. And then that was our plan, China was right behind me."

And the family said they were great at defending in any situation.

“You know and we saw that whether it was on the field, whether that was at home, and even in times like this,” said Celia’s brother Loto. “These are the times that, the person you do want walking through that door, is Celia, because she could light this moment right here."

And they played for a very big team.

“Our family's not the only one that lost,” Loto said, “This community did. The whole community lost something awesome. Two wonderful and beautiful persons."

Even through the heartbreak, their family also extended their love to Fely’s family.

“We love you,” Loto said. “We pray for you. It is hard. It is very hard, but we know we're not the only ones suffering."

And spent the evening laughing, crying, and remembering the mother and daughter, they all loved dearly.

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