ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) — Rachel Elizabeth Imani Buckner was a “beautiful and radiant light,” her grieving family wrote in the wake of her violent death.
The 27-year-old Pleasanton woman was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend, dismembered, and dumped along Bay Farm Island’s shoreline in Alameda in July, according to the Alameda Police Chief. Buckner is survived by her daughter.
“Rachel — referred to affectionately by close family and friends as Imani — was tragically taken from this Earth. To anyone that got to know and be around Imani, she was a beautiful and radiant light. She had an infectious spirit that you could not help but smile when around,” the victim’s mother wrote on a GoFundMe page created to cover funeral expenses and support Buckner’s young daughter.
Buckner graduated from Howard University for undergraduate studies and earned a juris doctorate at Golden Gate University, her family said.
“Imani was an accomplished woman on her way to being an exceptional professional. She was at the beginning of her life and her journey. (She) had so much more life to live,” the victim’s mother, S. Jamila Buckner, wrote.
The victim is also survived by her grandmother, older brother, younger brother, and aunt.
Rachel Buckner’s accused killer, 42-year-old Joseph Roberts of Pleasanton, is behind bars in Santa Rita Jail. Some of the victim’s remains were found by a citizen who was walking along the shoreline on July 20. Her head, hands, and feet were reportedly severed from the body.
Roberts was arrested following a two-month-long homicide investigation that shocked even veteran officers.
“In my 25 years as a police officer, I have never seen anything as disturbing as this,” Police Chief Nishant Joshi said.
Alameda Police Sgt. Spencer Mountain said, “This one is pretty brutal.”
Investigators are still working to establish a motive. DNA evidence linked Roberts to the killing, police said. “Primarily, the main evidence in this case is DNA. His DNA and her DNA linking them together,” Mountain said.
The homicide victim and suspect lived together in Pleasanton, and they had no ties to Alameda, police said.