Central Florida investigators seek public’s help in solving shooting deaths of 3 teenage friends- QHN


Investigators in central Florida are asking the public for any information related to the deaths of three teenage friends being investigated as homicides after they were discovered with gunshot wounds in separate locations.

Fifteen detectives are working the case, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said Tuesday, adding that no arrests have been made and investigators are “not ruling out anything.”

“We’re looking for help for the families who have lost a loved one,” Woods said. “There are folks out there that know. You’ve got information.”

The first victim, a 16-year-old female, was found shot on the side of a road in the Forest Lakes Park area Thursday night and later died in a hospital from her critical injuries, the sheriff’s office said.

The next morning, shortly before 8 a.m., deputies responded to a second report of a person on the side of a road and found a 17-year-old male who had been fatally shot, authorities said.

The third victim’s body was discovered Saturday inside a vehicle that had been partially submerged in a body of water, Woods said. The sheriff’s office forensics unit and underwater recovery team searched the scene for additional evidence, he said. The victim’s name is also being withheld at their family’s request.

Authorities are not aware of any additional victims at this time, according to the sheriff. When asked if the victims were all shot by the same weapon, Woods told reporters they are still waiting on forensics.

The sheriff also urged people to avoid speculation and sharing rumors on social media. Woods emphasized that there is “nothing to indicate” that the killings were carried out by a serial killer, despite some rumors.

“One of the things I want each of you to think of and try to remember when you start to type is that there are family members out there reading it,” he said.

Anyone with information relevant to the case is encouraged to contact the sheriff’s office or submit a tip anonymously to Crime Stoppers of Marion County.

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