Emma Posadas-Espinoza lived in a home on North F Street in Lompoc where neighbors say she was well-known and well-liked.
Her body was found in bushes behind a carport early Monday morning in La Habra, California in Orange County.
An autopsy has been done but the cause of Posadas-Espinoza's death has not been disclosed.
La Habra Police say detectives have traveled to Lompoc to speak with Posadas-Espinoza's family members but are not revealing much about what they have learned.
Her neighbors on North F Street say Posadas-Espinoza lived alone.
"We were certainly shocked", says neighbors Marcus and Howard Shaw, "we couldn't believe it you know, she was a nice lady."
The Shaw's say Posadas-Espinoza was a regular at F Street block parties and she invited neighbors over for home-cooked Mexican food.
"You always hear about things like that happening", Marcus Shaw says, "always elsewhere, not so close to home."
"Unexpected, totally", says F Street neighbor John Spooner who adds Posadas-Espinoza was one of the nicest neighbors on the quiet culdesac.
"Its really bad that a lady like that would all of a sudden have her life ended", Spooner says.
"A neighbor in your own neighborhood, when it happens to you, you know, its hard to really grasp", Marcus Shaw says.
Her neighbors say Posadas-Espinosa was a social worker with an expertise in mental health.
La Habra Police detectives are piecing together clues as to why she may have been in the La Habra area and are calling her death "suspicious".
Police need the public's help in identifying and locating a car they say may have been involved in the death of Emma Posadas-Espinoza.
Detectives say they are looking for a 2013 Acura ILX, 4-door, white in color with a license plant of 7EDU040.
If you have seen this vehicle or have any other information about Emma Posadas-Espinoza, call the La Habra Police Department at (562) 383-4300.