MILFORD, Conn. — The 16-year-old girl killed by a classmate at a Milford, Connecticut, high school was “a bright light full of hopes and dreams with her future at her fingertips” said her cousin Edward Kovack in a statement on behalf of the family Friday afternoon.
Maren Sanchez, a junior, was attacked in a hallway at Jonathan Law High School around 7 a.m. Friday. School staff members and emergency technicians attempted “life-saving measures,” according to Milford Police Chief Keith Mello, but Sanchez was pronounced dead at Bridgeport Hospital at 7:43 a.m.
Speaking at a press conference Friday, the police chief didn’t provide a motive but said investigators are looking into rumors a boy was angry because Sanchez had declined to go to the prom with him. The prom, scheduled for Friday night, has been postponed.
Sanchez had “severe injuries that were visible around the neck area,” Mello said, but he would not say if a weapon was used in the attack.
The attacker, also 16, was taken into custody without resistance and handed over to police, Mello said. The male student is not being named because he is a juvenile, Mello said.
Mello called the altercation an “isolated incident” and said authorities quickly determined there was no threat to other students. The school was closed Friday morning at the request of police because it is an active crime scene, Mello said.
Milford Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth said counseling services will be available to students throughout the weekend.
Also at the press conference, state Sen. Gayle Slossberg expressed sadness and said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy “stands ready with any and all resources the state can offer to help us heal.”
An arraignment for the suspect has not yet been scheduled. Authorities have not decided whether classes will be held Monday.
Milford is about 22 miles from Newtown, Connecticut, where a lone gunman in December 2012 shot his mother to death, then went to Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 people, including 20 children, before taking his own life.