"Our lives will be forever changed with this," says Katrice Reid, 36, the godmother of Jorion White, of Kenner, Louisiana. "I am truly heartbroken. We don't know how to comprehend how to go on without her."
Authorities in St. Charles Parish suspect foul play and tell PEOPLE they still are investigating what happened to White. She was last seen by her family at home on Thursday night as she prepared for bed; her family reported her missing on Friday evening. Sunday evening, a body later identified as White's was found in a drainage ditch.
Results from an autopsy have not been released, and police have not revealed a manner of death.
Those left behind recall White as an ambitious, grounded, smiling high school junior at Bonnabel Magnet Academy High School whose life ended too soon.
White Wanted to Be a Nurse, 'Loved to Help and Take Care of People'"She just lit up the room when she came in," says Reid. "We were very blessed to have her for the 16 years we had."
"She had a goal of being a nurse. She loved to help people and take care of people," adds Reid. "She just impacted more people that I think she even thought she did. It was just her personality – just such a sweet person."
That was made clear by an impromptu memorial gathering on Monday night.
"We had at least 200 people out there," says Reid. "They had buses – they were busing kids in. It was so beautiful, so beautiful. And it wasn't anything that was organized. Somebody put it out there, and everybody just showed up."
"It just tells me that she was a wonderful soul. So many people loved her."
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'No Matter How Good We Are, There's Just so Much Evil'White was the youngest in a family of six kids – three boys, three girls. In her bedroom, there were self-help and inspirational books such as Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul on her shelf.
"Her mother was big with her in setting goals and how to improve yourself," says Reid, who was a classmate and friend of White's mother, Michelle Price, since the age of 13. "Her mom always encouraged her to look ahead and how to prepare herself for life as a grownup."
Although White's parents were divorced, White stayed close to both her mother and father, and looked ahead to spending time this summer with her dad and stepmom at their home in Dallas.
"She had a lot of people around her that she could look to as far as guidance for her," says Reid. "That's why it's hard. There was so much positive. This just kind of blind-sided us."
"It just touches you to your soul, because it shows that no matter how good we are, there's just so much evil at any given time, and we don't know when the evil will take the good out."
Reid did not speculate on what may have happened to her goddaughter, only that White would not have left home on her own with her hair in curlers. "She was a person who made sure she was pretty when she walked out the door," she says.
"We don't know – that's the hardest part, we really don't know. We're just confused."
As authorities continue to search for answers, Reid has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money toward White's burial, "because you're just never prepared to bury a 16-year-old," she says.
"I believe that she's looking down on us right now," says Reid, who created the hashtag #JusticeforJorion. "She just has to be smiling even more than I know she can, just to know she was loved so much."