Editor’s Note: The full press conference from RPD will be available at the bottom of this page soon.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Police Department is investigating a murder after fishermen found a missing teenager dead near Vanguard Parkway.
According to Captain Frank Umbrino, officers were alerted to a decomposing body found in the woods behind the recycling facility Saturday in that area. The body, which investigators say had been decomposing for over a month, was found by anglers.
The Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the body as that of 16-year-old Jakarah Lopez-Moore. Her death was ruled a homicide, but police did not release the cause of death.
Lopez-Moore was last seen leaving her house on Weld Street around 1:45 a.m. on August 27, according to police. Investigators said she left on her own free will.
“Although Jakarah was going through things that young kids go through, it was uncommon for her to stay out of contact for a two-day period with her family. It was uncommon for her to stay off of social media for that time,” Capt. Umbrino said.
Rochester police said they would investigate several locations throughout the Rochester area that may be connected to the murder. They did not elaborate.
“The goal of my team is to find the person that did this and make sure that they are held accountable for that,” said Capt. Umbrino. “Everything we do between now and when we make an arrest, we have to be really careful.”
Police said ransom notes were found during the investigation, but all were determined to be hoaxes. They warned the public to be wary of potential scammers taking advantage of situations like these.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 immediately. Additional information may be released as the investigation unfolds.
Full Press Briefing
Statement from RCSD Superintendent Dr. Carmine Peluso
The Rochester City School District is heartbroken at the sad news of Jakarah Lopez-Moore’s passing. This is a devastating loss, and our entire school community is deeply saddened by this tragic event. We extend our sincerest condolences to Jakarah’s family and friends during this incredibly difficult time. Losing a young life is always a profound tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are affected by this heartbreaking loss.
The Trauma, Illness, and Grief team is at Edison to provide assistance and guidance to students and staff who may be struggling to cope with this news. We encourage anyone in need of support to reach out and seek assistance during this trying period.
Please join us in honoring Jakarah’s memory and keeping her family in your thoughts and prayers. We will work together as a community to support each other through this difficult time.