Winter Haven police said someone shot 18-year-old Alicia Barnett near the Lake Conine Canal Bridge, along the Chain of Lake Trail Monday morning.
Because it was Veterans Day, the school bus she usually rides the forty miles from her home to the New Beginnings Charter School for at risk kids, wasn't running. So, police said friends drove her part of the distance and apparently dropped her off on a trail near the school.
Police Chief Gary Hester can only speculate that she has friends in a nearby subdivision. But within 40 minutes, someone shot and killed her.
Chief Hester said, "We're committed to bringing the killer/killers to justice, and we need the public's help." He said a walker found Alicia's body on the trail.
Though police continue to investigate the many leads that continue to come in, so far, there is no suspect. In the meantime, 21-year-old Lineten Belizaire, the only suspect in the murder of Alicia Barnett's sister in the Miami area last January, was just arrested again October 16, along with dozens of others including an uncle, on what police call unrelated charges: conspiracy to defraud the government of a million dollars by filing fraudulent taxes.
Belizaire was already on home confinement on second degree murder charges, accused of shooting and killing Octavia Barnett along with two others, including a toddler.
According to reports, he has denied any involvement.
Hester said, "There doesn't appear to be any connection, these are just two isolated incidents. But, my gosh, my heart goes out to the family. That they had to suffer such loss... at the hands of vicious criminals."