Man arrested in murder of 16-year-old cheerleader found dead in Texas apartment bathtub


Man arrested in murder of 16-year-old cheerleader found dead in Texas apartment bathtub

Police have arrested a suspect in the murder of a 16-year-old cheerleader who was found dead by her mother in her bathtub earlier this week in Edna, Texas.

The Edna Police Department located the suspect, identified as Rafael Romero, on Saturday in Schulenburg, Texas.

The Texas Rangers, who investigate major violent crimes within the state Department of Public Safety, arrested Romero on capital murder charges — which makes the suspect eligible for the death penalty if convicted — and took him to the Jackson County Jail.

Lizbeth Medina was a cheerleader at Edna High School who aspired to become a nurse, according to her aunt Ana Medina.

“Lizbeth was outgoing and confident — someone willing to take off her shirt and give it to someone else,” she told NBC News. “She was always there for everyone – charming, young and full of energy. This was all cut short.

Her mother, Jacqueline Medina, came home Tuesday evening and found her daughter unconscious in the bathtub, according to a police statement. The police then arrived on the scene and found her dead.

Community members mourned Medina during a vigil held Saturday evening.


Edna Police Chief Rick Boone wrote on Facebook Sunday that his officers were “committed to achieving justice” for the teen.

“As you know, we are a small department and this can place a high demand on my officers,” Boone wrote. “Not only did they step up during their own shifts, but they also worked many hours voluntarily on their days off and beyond their own work schedules.

Born and raised in Nebraska by a single mother, Medina had lived in Texas for about a year, according to the GoFundMe her family created to raise money for funeral and memorial expenses.

“She was loved by many, but more importantly, she is loved and will be missed by the family,” Ana Medina wrote on the fundraising page.

Angela Yang is a culture and trends reporter for NBC News.

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Alice Ross

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