A MANHUNT is underway for the killer after a 15-year-old track star was found dead in a park opposite her home.
The body of Jania Tatum-Scott was discovered with blood on her chest on Tuesday morning.
Police have not released a cause of death but her family has revealed she was shot.
Jania’s heartbroken mother Angie Tatum said she last saw her daughter alive at around 11pm when she went to bed on Monday night.
She told ABC13 that she believes her daughter went out to meet somebody and left a half-eaten plate of food behind.
Cops were called to Tejas Park in Baytown, Texas, at around 8.15am on Tuesday morning after the 15-year-old was found unresponsive in one of the fields.
She was pronounced dead at the scene only three days after Christmas.
Police had said it is a homicide case and they are actively searching for the killer.
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“They took my best friend from me. They took my best friend from me. Literally, that was my best friend,” her mother said, adding that Jania was planning to go into the Navy to study nursing,
“She can’t do that now,” she continued.
The teen ran track and cross country at Sterling High School and was reportedly loved by teachers, coaches, and her principal.
“My daughter was well-known around Baytown,” Angie told ABC13.
“Everybody loved her. Nobody is doing good right now. I’m not doing good. I don’t know if I’m going to ever be good about this.”
Police are now asking for the public’s help as they try to put together a timeline of Jania’s last movements.
No suspect or motive has yet been identified.
“There’s no piece of information that’s too small that might not help us with this case,” said Baytown Police Chief John Stringer.
You can leave an anonymous tip with Baytown Crime Stoppers at 281-427-TIPS (8477).