12-year-old among suspects in killing of 3 teens in Florida

Another Friday, authorities said that the bodies of three teenagers were found partially submerged in the trunk of a vehicle along a roadside in Florida. A 12-year-old and a teenager have been charged in connection with their deaths.

During a press briefing, Sheriff Billy Woods of Marion County expressed his astonishment at the youthfulness of both the victims and the accused individuals. Authorities are currently conducting a manhunt for a sixteen-year-old, while the older suspect, who is seventeen, is already in custody.

The two suspects in custody are facing charges of first-degree murder. The state attorney’s office is currently reviewing whether the suspects will be prosecuted as adults. Unless they have been accused of committing adult offenses, The Associated Press does not disclose the identities of minors.

According to Woods, the three individuals who perished were willingly present in the vehicle. The identities of the two additional casualties, a teenage girl aged 16 and a teenage boy aged 17, have not yet been disclosed by the authorities. Woods stated that both the individuals responsible for the shooting and the victims were all occupying a vehicle that belonged to Layla Silvernail, the 16-year-old victim, when the tragic incidents took place.

In the rural area of Marion County in the northern part of Florida, law enforcement officers discovered Silvernail by the roadside on the evening of the March 30 incident. The sheriff stated that she subsequently passed away due to a bullet injury.

Woods stated that authorities were summoned to a nearby area the following morning, where they discovered the lifeless body of an adolescent male, who had also suffered a fatal gunshot injury.

Inside the trunk, a deceased teenage girl was discovered. The car was thoroughly examined, leading to the discovery of Silvernail’s vehicle partially immersed in a small lake close to Ocklawaha, approximately 9 miles (14 km) away from the location where the bodies were located on April 1st.

The sheriff said that all the gangs involved were composed of young individuals, but the authorities did not have any specific evidence pointing towards a particular rivalry. “However,” the sheriff added, “each gang was somehow associated with one another or influenced by each other.”

Woods stated, “At a certain juncture, these three individuals betrayed our three victims.” “In the aftermath, however, they left behind a substantial amount of evidence and escaped from the locations.”

Many guns were involved in the shootings, but Woods said he didn’t provide details about how many guns were involved. The teens said they got guns while breaking into cars, while Woods said the victim was found in the trunk of a vehicle. The two suspects confessed to the shooting, Woods said.

In the process of resolving the criminal case, Woods observed the prompt responses of various law enforcement organizations, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Marshal’s Office, and the Ocala Police Department. Additionally, he praised the local populace for offering valuable information that ultimately resulted in the apprehension of the two suspects.