Prom date denial investigated in Conn. school killing
MILFORD, Conn. (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) -- A 16-year-old girl was stabbed to death inside a Connecticut high school. A teenage boy is in custody, and police are investigating whether she was stabbed because she declined to be his date at the junior prom.
Emergency responders were called to Jonathan Law High School in Milford early Friday. Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Feser identified the victim as Maren Sanchez. Police Chief Keith Mello says a 16-year-old boy was taken into custody. FOX Connecticut says their sources have identified the teen as Chris Plaskon of Milford, Connecticut.
Police say that staff members and paramedics performed live-saving measures on Sanchez, but that she later died at a hospital.
Students described an emotional scene with people crying as police and paramedics swarmed the school. Sanchez's cousin said that the attack was devastating and shocking. He also believes that it's a call to take action against violence in schools.
"The unprovoked attack on Maren this morning has unfortunately, for our family, resulted in the permanent loss of Maren Victoria Sanchez, a bright light full of hopes and dreams with her future at her fingertips. Maren should be celebrating at her prom this evening, with her friends and classmates. Instead we are mourning her death and we are trying as a community to understand this senseless loss of life," Edward Kovac, Sanchez's cousin, said.
Dr. Ellen Braaten, a Harvard professor and child psychologist at Mass General Hospital, says that even though police are not certain that rejection played a role in the violence, it is still an open door for parents to talk with their kids about how to turn someone, or something, down.
"We're definitely desensitized to kindness with the social media with the kinds of television programs and video games kids watch," Braaten said.
She went on to say, "This is a good time for parents for you to say to your child, you know what, you have to take responsibility if you do or you don't want to do something and you need to act in a way that's caring to that person."
According to FOX News, Sanchez was an honor student, a manager of the swim team and heavily involved in community service.
The junior prom had been scheduled for Friday evening, but was postponed because of the stabbing. Students at the school held a vigil for Sanchez Friday night and plan to wear purple Monday in her memory.
Plaskon's lawyer says he expects his client to face a murder charge as an adult offender, but as of right now he is charged as a juvenile.
The 16-year-old is being held at a medical facility and will not appear in court on Monday.