By Shelby R. King

The Bulletin

A memorial for the woman whose body was found by the side of a Bend highway earlier this month is scheduled for 11 a.m. today at the Victory Baptist Church, 1034 N.E. 11th St., according to information from the Niswonger-Reynolds Funeral Home. The service will be conducted in English.

Pivoyne Castro-Luna, 42, was reported missing March 10. Bend police found her body March 16 off U.S. Highway 20 east of Bend near Hamby Road. An autopsy determined “blunt force trauma” was the cause of death and a criminal homicide investigation was opened.

Castro-Luna worked for Bend resident Christy Hicks, 45, for nine years. Hicks considered Castro-Luna a friend and describes her as “incredibly loyal and incredibly loving.”

“She was very, very dependable and honest,” Hicks said. “She would buy gifts for (my) kids and would always fold their blankets in a special way.”

Hicks said Castro-Luna cleaned her home, worked with her when she hosted parties and helped with her three children.

Hicks’ kids, 12-year-old Sarah, 11-year old Thayer and 7-year-old Caroline, all loved Castro-Luna, Hicks said. But Caroline, who attends a Spanish immersion school, had the closest relationship with the slain woman.

“Pivo would bring Caroline gifts to help her learn Spanish,” Hicks said.

Caroline wrote Castro-Luna an appreciation letter and gave her a chocolate as an assignment for school. The Hickses then left for vacation, Hicks said.

“When we came back Pivo had written a letter thanking Caroline for the chocolate,” Hicks said. “The letter said, ‘God bless your family.’ That was pretty much the last we saw of Pivo.”

Police determined Castro-Luna was with Bend resident Honorio De Horta-Frias, 40, near the time of her disappearance and named him as a person of interest. Investigators believe De Horta-Frias left the Bend area headed south.

The case is under investigation, and Bend Police Chief Jim Porter said all inquiries must go through the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office. District Attorney Patrick Flaherty could not be reached for comment Friday.

Hicks said a memorial fund has been set up to raise money for Castro-Luna’s two children. Proceeds will go toward a college fund for them. Donations are being accepted in Castro-Luna’s name at all Home Federal Bank branches.

— Reporter: 541-383-0376,