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Man arrested in slaying of Texas high school cheerleader

Rafael Govea Romero

EDNA, Texas — A man was arrested and charged on Sunday in connection with the death of a 16-year-old Texas high school cheerleader, authorities said.

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According to the Edna Police Department, Rafael Govea Romero, 23, was arrested Saturday night and charged with capital murder in the death of Lizbeth Medina. Officers arrested Romero in Schulenburg, located about 62 miles southeast of Edna, KABB-TV reported.

Medina was found dead by her mother, Jacqueline Medina, on Dec. 5 in the bathtub at her home in Edna, according to KSAT-TV.

No cause of death has been publicly released for the teen, a student and cheerleader at Edna High School, KHOU-TV reported. It was also unclear whether Romero and the teen knew one another.

Jacquline Medina told police that her daughter did not arrive with her cheerleading squad at an annual holiday event in Edna on Dec. 5, according to KTRK-TV. The woman went home and discovered Lizbeth Romero in the bathtub of their residence at the Cottonwood Apartments, the television station reported.

The teen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police released few details about Romero, other than noting that he was “undocumented,” according to the news release. His country of origin has not been released by officials.

“Although Romero is apprehended, we recognize Lizbeth’s family and friends are grieving and will still need support from the community,” Edna police Chief Rick Boone said in the news release.

Jacqueline Medina told KHOU that Lizbeth, her only child, was “her world,” adding that she was devastated by her daughter’s death.

“Someone dared to go in and just rip my daughter away from me, it just kills me,” she told th television station. “I just want answers to why they would do this to an amazing little girl who would never hurt anyone, wouldn’t dare to hurt anyone.”

The cheerleader’s family has started a GoFundMe page to cover funeral expenses and provide support to the family.