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Crime News Breaking News

Maryland Teen Found Slain Along Walking Trail, Days Before Her 18th Birthday

Two teens have been charged with the murder of 17-year-old Tykerria Katherine Dawson, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said.

By Jill Sederstrom

Authorities have arrested two suspects after a Maryland teen was found dead near a walking trail.

The body of Tykerria Katherine Dawson, 17. was discovered Saturday evening in a wooded area off of a walking trail in Briargrove Court around 5 p.m. by a passerby, according to release from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies discovered the teen had suffered “apparent injuries” and investigators began examining the case as a homicide.

The sheriff’s office identified two teen suspects -– a 16-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl – after “numerous interviews, evidence collections and search warrants,” authorities said.

Both teens were taken into custody Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder.

While authorities say they're being charged as adults, Oxygen.com isn't identifying them at this point because of their age. 

Taylor Clarke, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office told People, that authorities believe the killing was an isolated incident.

“Investigators believe that this was not a random act of violence,” Clarke said.

Clarke told Oxygen.com that the suspects had known the victim.

She declined to provide additional details about a possible motive in the case.

Isabelle Weissend told local station WJZ that she had been walking along the trail Saturday evening when she discovered the body in the woods.

“When I saw her, I screamed and she didn’t even flinch,” she said. “She wasn’t moving or anything.”

A nearby resident, Linda Blum, told the station the area where the body was discovered is near several homes and a stream and is usually a quiet area.

“Kids often play there. … We hear kids all the time,” she said.

Friends and family of Dawson described her as “bubbly” and happy, according to The Frederick News Post.

“She was full of life everywhere she went,” her sister Tiesha told the paper. “It doesn’t matter it if was a negative situation, she was so bubbly.”

Dawson would have celebrated her 18th birthday on Sunday and was just weeks away from graduating from her alternative school.

“She could be in any situation and bring light to it,” another sister Ta’keshia Clay told the paper. “There was nothing that girl could not accomplish, and I think she was just getting started.”

Dawson's family said she loved dancing, hip-hop, rap, basketball and spending time with her large family.

She had been talking about attending community college and possibly becoming a lawyer.

“Every day, she was dreaming of big things to do,” Tiesha said.

Both suspects are being held at the Frederick County Adult Detention Center.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to contact investigators.

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