ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Orange County Public Schools confirms Melanie Mesen Medina was an eighth-grader, at Corner Lake Middle School. Her body was found dumped on the side of the road, more than 20 miles away.
School officials confirm the girl's parents pulled her out of school last Thursday, but they're not saying why. Sheriff's deputies say someone found her body near Ziegler Road in South Orlando on Tuesday morning. She was just fifteen years old.
“This is basically a child,” lamented Orange County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Jane Watrel, “and we don't want her killer, or killers, out on the streets.”
They say Medina's body had signs of trauma. “We know that body was dumped, and I made that clear yesterday that the homicide didn't occur where the body was found,” Watrel said.
Corner Lake’s principal, Luis Tousent, sent parents a message in case any of Medina's friends or fellow students needed to talk about her murder. “I want parents to know we have grief counselors on campus today, and will do so again tomorrow to speak to any students who need to express their feelings during this difficult time,” he said.
People living near the school say it's unbelievable.
“I don't know how anybody could do that to somebody so young, and it's right here! That's the crazy part - it's so crazy,” said Ivonne Valentin.
“I'm sure her family is wondering how and why something like this could happen, and her friends, too,” agreed Gloria Mendez.
The sheriff's office says they'll spare no effort to track down medina's killers. “I do know that the sheriff has told them to use whatever means you can to find out who did this,” Watrel said.
Grief counselors will be on hand tomorrow to speak with students. Crimeline is offering a five thousand dollar reward for information that helps bring in Medina’s killer.