PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - Family and friends remember Destynee Burkes as "free spirited," and sadly, memories are all they will hold onto now.
Just after 12:30 p.m. on Monday, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office got a call that a body had been found in a motel room by an employee at La Quinta Inn, off U.S. 19 just north of St. Petersburg.
That body was identified as 24-year-old Destynee Burkes.
At Destynee's home in Gulfport, her friends and family gathered Tuesday.
A younger sister would tell me about the last conversation she had with her sister, "She was like, 'You haven't called me in a few days. How are you?' And I was asleep. So she was just like, 'I was just checking up on you. Love you.' And that was it. She use to call me her baby."
It is a voice family and friends will never hear again. But they are now calling out for justice to be served, wanting investigators to find whoever is responsible for Destynee's death.
The Sheriff's Office says they are confident they will find the person. They have already canvassed the area around the motel, questioning possible witnesses.
They also have a bank of surveillance cameras to tap into that were on the side of the inn itself, at least five look out over the area where the door to the room 120, where Destynee's body was found, is located.
And they say there are other cameras in the area they have also been looking at for evidence.
So as detectives work their leads trying to find answers, family and friends waits for those answers, while trying to find strength in each other as they deal with their loss.
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