Police in the small town of Edna, Texas, say an unidentified man with a tattoo behind his ear may have something to do with—or know something about—the savage murder of a 16-year-old cheerleader in her own home this week.
The murder of Lizbeth Medina, just hours before she was due to appear with her cheer squad in the town’s Christmas parade, has left the community shellshocked, and police have been tightlipped about the case.
Medina’s mother, Jacquelin, told local media she’d come home Tuesday and found her teenage daughter dead in the bathtub of their apartment.
“The pain or the suffering that she went through, it just kills me every day. I just remember seeing blood, and um, I went crazy,” she told Fox 26, adding that a break-in at their home three weeks earlier may be connected.
In a somber statement on Wednesday, police confirmed they were investigating a “capital murder,” but no further details were released on a possible suspect or how Lizbeth was killed. Authorities also offered no reassurances that the wider public wasn’t at risk, with police instead urging residents to “be vigilant” and acknowledging community concerns about “the individual still being on the loose.”
Two days later, police announced a “possible vehicle and suspect involved,” releasing surveillance photos of a man wearing a black hooded “Volcom” sweatshirt. Investigators said the man was seen driving a Silver Ford Taurus, and that he “may possibly have a tattoo located behind his right ear.”
No details were given on what led investigators to the mystery man.
Family and friends of the Edna High School cheerleader gathered on Saturday evening for a vigil in her honor, with attendees asked to wear white for the standout cheerleader taken too soon.
Her mother has said she is grateful to see her daughter was truly adored by her peers: “I didn’t know how many people loved her other than myself,” she told Fox 26.
Ana Medina, the teen’s aunt, told NBC News they all “just want answers.”
“Lizbeth was outgoing and confident—someone willing to take off her shirt to give it to someone else. She was always there for everybody—charming, young, and full of energy. That was all just cut short,” she said.