WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Winter Haven Police are investigating the murder of an 18-year-old high school student. Just after 8:00 a.m., police discovered the body of Alicia Barnett just off the Chain of Lakes Trail.
Two area residents told us they heard gunshots this morning, but as of now police will not say how Alicia was killed, only that it was from trauma.
Her body was discovered about a quarter-mile from New Beginnings High School where Alicia attended.
New Beginnings is a charter school for at-risk kids who are trying to refocus their energy and time on education.
Principal Ashlee Wright said Alicia was "a joy, just to be around her presence. Our staff is very saddened by this. Our student body will come together tomorrow, as we celebrate the life of Alicia Barnett and all that she was aspiring to do to better herself."
When Alicia's body was discovered, the high school was locked down. When the morning session ended, students were let out under the watchful eye of police.
Principal Wright says they will have grief councilors at the school Tuesday for both students and staff if they want to talk.
Alicia's father came out to the trail Monday, to try and understand.
In the neighborhood right next door, Carefree Cove, reaction to the news that someone took the life of a young woman was repeated with each person, pained disgust at the terrible tragedy.
Police say they have several leads, but have not yet made an arrests.