To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.
(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Milford, Conn.) - “I went to the hospital, they wouldn’t let me in, and then I found out," said Evelyn Castro, who lost her best friend Friday.
Shock and sadness in Milford, Conn as friends and loved ones of 16-year-old Maren Sanchez learned of her murder Friday morning, allegedly at the hands of a 16-year-old male classmate inside Jonathan Law High School.
“All the sudden we heard a teacher screaming,” said one student.
“A staff member came upon the assault that had already started and whether or not they interrupted it, whether or not it was already concluded, those are things that we really just don’t know yet,” said Milford Police Chief Keith Mello.
Mello said Sanchez had been stabbed and had severe injuries to her neck.
Despite efforts by school staff and EMS, she could not be saved.
Sanchez’s relatives were devastated, describing her as a bright light full of hopes and dreams.
“Maren should be celebrating at her prom this evening with her friends and classmates, instead we are mourning her death and we are trying as a community to understand this senseless loss of life,” said Sanchez’s cousin Edward Kovac.
Police are investigating whether the suspect attacked Sanchez because she declined his invitation to Friday night’s junior prom.
That prom and post prom party were postponed, and school was dismissed early Friday.
But students gathered on Walnut Beach, some in their prom dresses and tuxes, releasing purple balloons – Sanchez’s favorite color – as they celebrated her life and remembered how she touched their lives.
Friends say Sanchez was extremely popular, involved in everything from managing the swim team, to softball, to the honor society, former class president, and according to the school paper, was to be named prom queen.
Her best friend Evenlyn Castro says she can’t believe Sanchez is gone.
“She didn’t care about your flaws or who you were she just liked you for who you were, and she was just a really good person and this shouldn’t have happened to her,” said Castro.
The unamed suspect was charged with murder on Friday. He will be arraigned in jevenile court on Monday. Police say the 16-year-old could be charged as an adult at a later date.