Two communities are mourning the loss of a young woman from Nome, who, after being reported missing, was found dead in an Anchorage parking lot.


Martina Painter, 25, was found inside her car Thursday afternoon near University Lake, according to police. Police said a family member reported her missing in Anchorage Wednesday night when she didn’t come home after going out with a friend.


Nome resident Sean Yi, 25, says he knew Painter before she left Nome and described her as “someone that I could always talk to.”


“Even if she didn’t know anyone or someone didn’t know her, she would be there to say hi to introduce herself and try to get to know the person,” Yi said, adding that she’d “always try to make every moment positive and happy.”


Yi says he is still trying to come to terms with what happened.


“I’m still, I guess, waiting for her to text or call and say that she’s fine,” he said.


While an autopsy has been conducted, police have said little about the cause of or circumstances surrounding her death, although they have noted they are “not currently looking to speak with anyone else at this time regarding this incident.”


“The manner of Martina’s death will not be determined until toxicology results come back,” police wrote in a Nixle alert. “Until that time, this investigation is still considered a ‘death investigation.'”


“She’s impacted many lives in a great way,” Yi said. “I’m pretty sure you could talk to anybody that has encountered her, they’d have nothing negative to say. It’s all positive things.”


KTVA 11’s Eric Ruble contributed to this report. 


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