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Memorial held for pedestrian killed in Citrus Heights collision

Carla Schlett speaks at Mystique Stephens’ memorial on Feb. 7, 2023. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
A memorial was held last week for one of two women who were killed in a Jan. 22 collision in Citrus Heights.

The memorial for Mystique Stephens was held Tuesday, Feb. 7, at a park behind Costco and Walmart on Auburn Boulevard. Friends who knew Stephens gathered to pay their respects and mourn the loss of a woman who those close to her say had lived in the streets most of her adult life.

Stephens’ cousin, Rebecca Beren, attended the service describing Stephens as “funny, witty, and kind.”

“She always had a smile,” Beren said. “Even through the hardest times out here she would smile for us and be happy if we were happy, or be sad if we were sad, or be concerned if something was wrong.”

Another one of Stephens’ friends, John Schlett, said he would often provide housing or a meal for Stephens. Schlett said Stephens had two children, a boy born in 2016 and a girl in 2018. Both children are together with an adopted family, he said.

Stephens was on her own since the age of 15 after her mother died, according to Beren.

“She didn’t deserve the life she had,” Beren said. “She didn’t have one easy day, not one easy day did she have, but she still smiled.”

Carla Schlett called herself a “second mom” to Stephens, saying she will miss her. Beren said Schlett was one of Stephens’ longest friends, and Stephens named one of her children after Schlett.

Members of the homeless community in Citrus Heights remembered Stephens along with members of Citrus Heights Homeless Assistance Resource Program (HART). Lunch was provided by volunteers from Grace House.

Stephens was crossing Auburn Boulevard near Cobalt Way at about 7:45 p.m. when she was struck and killed by another vehicle. The vehicle then collided with a second vehicle, killing 41-year-old Kimberli Washington. Washington was a single parent from Citrus Heights and a GoFundMe account has been set up for her 13-year-old daughter’s future education expenses.

Police say speed appears to have been a factor in the collision, and are investigating other potential factors that may have played a role.

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