Missing Teenage Girl Found Murdered Near Her Crashed Minivan in Creek
A teenaged girl who reportedly went missing on her way to church was found slain near her crashed minivan in a Dallas creek, officials said.
The body of Zoe Hastings, 18, was discovered Monday by police responding to calls about a vehicle in the creek near East Lake Highlands Drive and Easton Road. She had died from "obvious homicidal violence," Deputy Chief Rob Sherwin said during a press conference.
Hastings' family reported the girl missing a day earlier, when she left her home at 4:45 p.m. in the white 2007 Honda Odyssey and failed to arrive at a 5 p.m. class at the Dallas Texas East Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The teen’s home, her church and the creek where she was found are located within a mile of each other.
"A graduate of Booker T. Washington and preparing to go on her mission, she was on her way to an evening church service when she went missing. After a frantic search, Zoe was found murdered in a creekbed by her church," a GoFundMe page noted.
Witnesses reportedly said that a man flagged down a passerby to get help for the girl, but the man then disappeared.
Her cause of death was not immediately clear. No suspects have yet been identified.
Loved ones quickly took to social media to mourn the devastating loss.
Zoe was the nicest person ever. how could this happen?— bri (@breebreezee) October 12, 2015
Zoe Hastings impacted so many lives, and I am proud to have been her friend. RIP, and know that you are loved.— BROKE HOMIE KHELS (@khellular) October 12, 2015
"[T]ragedy has struck our community. Our dear friend and family member Zoe Hastings lost her life due to a senseless act of violence," relatives wrote on another GoFundMe page created to offset costs of Hastings' memorial.
"Zoe was vivacious, beautiful, always willing to help, and a ball of energy that was always ready to make you smile," the page read.
"She was the oldest of five children - with three little sisters and a brother who adored her. Zoe's parents, Cheryl, a nurse, and Jim, a teacher, loved and adored their oldest child beyond words, and were so proud of her accomplishments," the first GoFundMe page read.
Within 15 hours of the creation of two pages, nearly $30,000 was raised.
"God hold her family as they cherish the light she embodied in this world.... Our hearts are heavy with love!' one person who donated wrote.
Shirts to memorialize Hastings were also created and proceeds were to go to her family.
"Please buy a shirt to help support Zoe Hasting's family in this hard time, as well as keep her memory alive," the page read. "We created this shirt to help Zoe's parents while they try to get through this very difficult time. We hope that this shirt will help people to never forget Zoe's amazing kind heart, her immense talent, and beautiful soul."