The niece of a homeless woman who died last week after being buried alive on California dunes said her aunt once described her fate as her greatest fear.

Patricia Ann Kalbskopf, 53, was killed on May 14 when a group of acquaintances allegedly buried her in the sand of the Oceano Dunes after she passed out from drinking, investigators told the San Luis Obispo Tribune

Kalbskopf's neice Lisa Cruz said this that her aunt's fear of burial was so acute that she made family members promise to cremate her after her death.

“Pat’s biggest fear was to be buried alive," Cruz told the paper. "She didn’t even want to be buried even if she died. That’s something she would say: ‘When I’m old, you better not bury me. You better cremate me.’ ”

James Lee Proffer, 52, David Wesley Cartwright, 59, and Kelly Marvin Johnson, 41, were being held at County Jail on involuntary manslaughter charges, according to jail officials, the Tribune reported.

Investigators say they don't believe that the men, who were also drinking, intended to kill Kalbskopf, but that their actions resulted in her death.

Cruz says the family plans to respect her aunt's wishes by cremating her.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.