Her family says her body was found Saturday morning near Wainaku Scenic Point on the Big Island.
“If I could tell her that I just love her and thank her for being a big part of who I am today,” Gray said.
The two were friends for nearly a decade.
“She was basically like a sister,” added Gray.
Funderburk moved to the Big Island in 2014 and they were still in contact despite the distance.
Gray says that she and Funderburk even lived together for a year in high school, bringing them closer than ever.
“She’s like one of the funniest people I’ve ever met, I’ll never forget the sound of her laugh,” said Gray.
Police have yet to publicly identify Funderburk as the woman who was discovered Saturday, but Funderburk’s mom, Kellie Ann Carlson, broke the news to us on Sunday.
“I want people to remember her the way I did,” Carlson said.
Gray says she doesn’t want to speculate on what happened to Funderburk, but she is happy to know her friend was found.
The man who led the search for Funderburk, Chris Berquist, feels the same way.
“Still an open investigation, I don’t want to speculate on anything,” Berquist said.
Berquist says teams of volunteers came together providing different resources, such as drones and dogs, to find her.
“I think that the greater expectation was to find her other shoe, which we did. The pull-off itself was not a very secluded spot. The woodsy area she was found was very secluded,” said Berquist.
As a volunteer, Berquist wanted to bring the family a sense of closure.
“It’s heartbreaking. It’s the most painful thing to see when we have to bring that news out they’re not alive, but at least we solved something and we’re able to give closure,” Berquist added.
Police on the big island haven’t returned our calls for comment.
Funderburk’s family says that multiple celebrations of life are being planned in her honor.
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