RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Family and friends of a missing Apex mom are begging to know where she is now that a suspect has been charged with her murder.

Jose Carlos Jacome-Granizo (Raleigh-Wake CCBI)

Thursday morning, Apex police announced Jose Carlos Jacome-Granizo, 29, was charged with murder in the death of Emily Elizabeth Montgomery, 26.

“If you knew Emily, you would see beauty, strength, light, love, compassion. She was fierce. She was sassy. She was honest, sometimes to a fault.

She was loyal. She had a smile and laugh that lit up the room,” said Emily’s mother, Amy Montgomery, in a statement to CBS 17.

U.S. Marshals helped take Jacome-Granizo into custody Thursday morning at his apartment in Raleigh.

According to warrants for his arrest, investigators believe Montgomery was murdered on Thanksgiving or the day after, and court documents say the killing was premeditated.

Her body has not been located, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Thursday.

“In my little world she was the sun and is greatly missed,” said Amy Montgomery in a statement.

Emily Montgomery leaves behind a 5-year-old son, who friend Courtney Pearson said she adored.

“She was just so pure and honest, it was hard not to love her,” said Pearson.

Pearson said she and Emily Montgomery became friends when the young mom lived in Ohio.

Emily Montgomery

Pearson said the pair talked every day after Emily Montgomery moved to Apex.

“Any time of day if anybody needed her, she would be there. She was just so loving, would to anything for anyone,” Pearson said.

Emily Montgomery was last seen the day before Thanksgiving on Lanasa Lane in Apex around 10 p.m. 

A Silver Alert was issued for Montgomery on Dec. 1 after Montgomery’s mom contacted Apex police after she was unable to contact her daughter for an “extended period of time.”

“Cops were coming here pretty routinely. I was hearing lots of loud banging noises,” said Rosandrey Fils-Aime, who lives across the hall from Jacome-Granizo.

Neighbors said not only did they frequently see police at Jacome-Granizo’s apartment, they saw Montgomery there too.

“I heard the police bust into his apartment a couple of times, but I did not know she was murdered. I’ve seen her around prior to her murder to it’s really shocking,” said Carolina Niblock.

Niblock said she’d seen Montgomery at the apartment complex four of five times since October.

Police did not say what, if any, relationship there was between the victim and suspect, however friends said the pair dated casually.

According to arrest records, Jacome-Granizo was previously charged with assault with a deadly weapon intent to kill and assault on a female in October 2016 in Guilford County.

Amy Montgomery thanked the community for the outpouring of support and the work of the Apex Police Department.

“But the fight isn’t over. We need our Emily brought home,” she said.