Arrest made in slaying of Texas high school cheerleader


A suspect has been arrested in the slaying of Texas high school cheerleader Lizbeth Medina, whose body was discovered in the bathtub of her home by her mother on Tuesday, according to authorities.

The suspect, identified as 23-year-old Rafael Govea Romero, was arrested Saturday and was jailed on suspicion of capital murder in the killing of the 16-year-old victim, according to police.

The Texas Rangers and Edna police placed Romero under arrest in Schulenburg, about 75 miles north of Edna, and he was taken to the Jackson County Jail, Edna Police Chief Rick Boone said in a statement Sunday announcing the arrest. Details of the arrest were not immediately disclosed.

Medina was supposed to perform with her cheerleading squad at a Christmas parade in Edna on Tuesday, her mother, Jacqueline Medina, told Houston ABC station KTRK.

But when the teen never showed up, her mother said she went searching for her and ultimately found her unresponsive at their apartment.

Romero’s capture came a day after the Edna Police Department announced it was searching for a person and vehicle of interest in Medina’s homicide. Romero’s arrest also occurred while classmates and community residents of Edna held a candlelight vigil for Medina Saturday evening at a gazebo outside the Jackson County Courthouse in Edna.

“Although Romero is apprehended, we recognize Lizabeth’s family and friends are grieving and still need support from the community,” Boone said. “The citizens of Edna can now sleep in peace.”

Before Romero’s arrest, Edna police on Saturday released photos of a person and vehicle of interest in connection with the case.

The male person of interest was described by police as possibly having a tattoo behind his right ear and was seen in the images wearing a black Volcom hooded sweatshirt. The person of interest was also seen driving a silver Ford Taurus, model year ranging from 2010 to 2018, police had said.

Police have not said if there was any previous relationship between Medina and Romero, or if the attack was a random incident.

Police have released few details on the circumstances of Medina’s death. An autopsy report has yet to be released.

Jacqueline Medina said she and her family moved to Edna, about 25 miles northeast of Victoria in southeast Texas, last year.

She said her daughter was honored before her school’s football game Thursday night, where the distraught cheerleading squad and her family wore purple — the teen’s favorite color.

“My head is just spinning everywhere, and I just want answers, I want justice,” Jacqueline Medina told KTRK prior to the game.

She said her daughter had a “kind heart” and would give someone the shirt off her back.

“You took an angel from me, and not only from me, from a lot of people who loved her,” Jacqueline Medina said.

ABC News’ Meredith Deliso contributed to this report.

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