Everyone who knew Linda Rivera adored her trademark giggle.
'It was very high- pitched, very squeaky,' said Dennise Delgado, a close friend who had been laughing with Ms. Rivera since their days at Canarsie High School in Brooklyn. 'She'd laugh at everything, even if it wasn't particularly funny.'
Ms. Rivera, 26, worked in human resources at Marsh & McLennan but rarely discussed her career with friends and family. Instead, she chattered about her new apartment, her cat and two dogs, her boyfriend of six years and her younger brother, to whom she was so devoted that she attended his parent-teacher conferences.
She grew up in East New York, Brooklyn, the daughter of Puerto Rican parents who spoke little English. More recently, Ms. Rivera had set down roots in Far Rockaway, Queens, where she was making do with hand-me-down furniture until she could afford nice new things. In particular, she was eager to trade her beat-up futon for a plush sofa. Ms. Delgado visited the apartment only after Ms. Rivera died, to help her friend's parents sort through her possessions.
'She was going to do something special when it was all set up,' Ms. Delgado said.