Croton mourns death of 23-year-old woman

Posted: Updated:
CROTON-ON-HUDSON -

A northern Westchester community is saying a final farewell to the young woman who died in a tragic accident in Panama.

Grief-stricken family and friends gathered at Holy Name of Mary Church in Croton-On-Hudson today for the funeral for Erica Illescas.

The 23-year-old died while on a medical internship in Panama.

The recent University of Connecticut graduate was reportedly swept into the ocean by a rogue wave while sitting on the shore with friends.

Friends in her hometown are still in shock over her sudden death. "I didn't want to believe it because I found out online. So me and my mom were like, ‘This could be something not confirmed or anything,’ so we didn't want to jump on it. I could never imagine for anyone to go away like that," says high school friend Daisy Guzman.

Illescas is survived by her parents and three brothers.

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