Carmina Salcido, Whose Father Murdered Her Family, Has 'American Idol' Hopes

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"I'm very open with who I am and what my story is and what my history is. … I don't know if I will always stay in Sonoma," she said, "But I know I'll definitely always a have a place here."

She makes frequent visits to the cemetery and the graves of her mother, two sisters, two aunts and grandmother.

Learning more about the family she lost and closing a painful chapter in her life, the 23-year-old pushes on -- day by day. She works 30 hours a week as a dog groomer. Scarred by a lifetime of loss and betrayal, the only things she trusts are the animals.

"I don't have my family, but there's nothing I can do to change that," she said. "I know one day I will be with them, so I have to live my life."

CLICK HERE to read an excerpt of her book, "Not Lost Forever: My Story"

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