South Carolina teen found shot dead after going missing for weeks
Sanaa Amenhotep was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds; an 18-year-old male arrested in her slaying will be charged with murder, police say
A teenage girl who went missing for weeks in South Carolina was found dead on Thursday in an apparent murder.
The body of Sanaa Amenhotep, 15, was found dead of multiple gunshot wounds when authorities discovered her body after she disappeared more than three weeks ago, WLTX reports.
Amenhotep was last seen on April 5 in front of her home in Columbia, South Carolina. Richland County Sheriff’s Department launched a search for the teenager after that. According to WIS, Amenhotep’s body was found in a wooded area in Lexington County, South Carolina, just southwest of Richland County.
Amenhotep’s body was taken to Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Her death was ruled a homicide in an autopsy handled by county coroner Margaret Fisher.
Authorities have made three arrests in connection to Amenhotep’s disappearance and killing. Lexington County Sheriff’s Department announced via Twitter that they arrested Treveon Nelson, an 18-year-old resident of Cayce, South Carolina. He is set to be charged with murder in Amenhotep’s slaying.
The other two suspects, a juvenile man and woman, are also in custody, but their identifies have not been disclosed. The woman is being held at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott stated that when Amenhotep was last seen alive, she had reportedly left her house voluntarily with two males and a female.
“I can’t tell you how tragic and sad this case is, to lose a 15-year-old like we lost this one,” Lott stated, as reported by People magazine. “Unfortunately we didn’t bring her home the way we wish that we could.”
Lott also stated that “there is gang-related activity that’s connected with this case.” However, the relationship between Amenhotep and the three suspects has not been disclosed.
Amenhotep’s mother, Saleemah Graham-Fleming, hopes the suspects are brought to justice.
“There’s really no stars to get for what you did because this was a defenseless person,” Graham-Fleming told WIS. “You know deep inside you didn’t have to kill my daughter,” she continued, referencing the unnamed woman in custody. “I really pray you are brought to justice.”
Amenhotep is also the daughter of Sharif Malik Amenhotep, an anti-violence activist and member of the Brick City Peace Collective in Newark, New Jersey. Ras Baraka, Mayor of Newark, offered his condolences to Amenhotep for the “tragic loss of his beautiful and intelligent Black daughter,” according to NJ.com.
“No parent should ever have to bury their child. It is an inexplicable loss that defies imagination,” Baraka said in a statement. “We hope that the South Carolina authorities can bring the suspects in this case to justice. Our entire city is joining with the Amenhotep family in their grief and pain.”
Amenhotep commented on his daughter’s death in a Facebook post, saying: “I’m sorry Princess I didn’t protect u.”
“I promise u will never ever leave my heart or mind I cherish all 15 years of your life u spent with me,” he added.
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