Friends, family grieving after beloved San Jose woman allegedly killed by ex-boyfriend

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A top volunteer is already sorely missed. Oragnizers at Second Harvest Food Bank in San Jose wonder what they will do without her after she was killed this week in a terrible crime.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office is remaining tightlipped after a man said he tried to turn himself in for committing a crime, but ended up being turned away. That man is now in custody, but some are questioning why he wasn't immediately detained.

The sheriff's office declined to comment Thursday, but Hugo Castro is currently being held without bail at the county jail.

New details of victim in this case are emerging and of the joy she brought to other people.

Alessandra Barlas' life was cut short after San Jose police found her strangled and stabbed to death inside a condo unit downtown.

Barlas, or Ali as she was known to friends and family, had a radiant smile. She graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in advertising, but recently went back to school to become a nurse.

"We're very grateful for the little time that we had her," said Susan Karlins of Second Harvest Food Bank.

Barlas volunteered as a health ambassador at Second Harvest Food Bank, spreading her love for fitness and nutrition.

"She was generous, and enthusiastic, and kind, and she brought a real passion for sharing healthy lifestyles and healthy recipes with our clients," Karlins said.

Barlas' ex-boyfriend Hugo Castro is being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Main Jail, the same place where he said he tried to surrender before a custody deputy turned him away and re-directed him to the San Jose Police Department.

Retired Judge Ladoris Cordell was named chair of the Santa Clara County Jails commission earlier this week.

She has questions regarding protocol and practices.

"Is this something widespread? Would other correctional officers have done the same thing? So that's one area of inquiry that we're definitely going to be looking at," Cordell said.

GET MORE: Click here to read other articles about the San Mateo County Jail

The sheriff's office has launched an internal investigation. This comes just two months after the death of an inmate, allegedly at the hands of guards inside the county jail.

Barlas' friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses. Click here to donate.
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