EDNA, Texas – Law enforcement authorities in Edna, Texas, have made significant progress in the homicide investigation of 16-year-old cheerleader Lizbeth Medina. The teenager’s lifeless body was discovered earlier this week in her home’s bathtub. Rafael Govea Romero has been apprehended and faces capital murder charges in connection with the young girl’s death. He was detained by the Texas Rangers and the Edna police in Schulenburg, approximately 75 miles north of Edna, where Romero was situated at the time. The specifics of the arrest have not been released.
Medina was scheduled to perform with her cheerleading squad during a Christmas parade. Her mother, Jacqueline Medina, noticed that her daughter was not at the parade. She returned home to look for her daughter and found her daughter’s body at home in the bathtub. The arrest of Romero comes just a day after the Edna Police Department announced their search for a person and vehicle of interest connected to the murder. The arrest occurred during a candlelight vigil held by Medina’s classmates and community members.
Edna Police Chief Rick Boone emphasized the importance of ongoing community support and acknowledged the grieving process for Medina’s loved ones. He expressed relief for residents in Edna and their heightened sense of security following Romero’s arrest.
Photos of a person and vehicle of interest were previously released by the police, along with a description of the individual as a potential suspect. The man in the pictures was believed to have a tattoo behind his right ear, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. He was seen driving a silver Ford Taurus from 2010 to 2018.
Details regarding the relationship between Medina and Romero have not been revealed by the police, leaving open the possibility of a random attack. Romero is reported to be an undocumented, illegal migrant. Further information regarding the circumstances of Medina’s death has been withheld pending the release of an autopsy report. Romero was arrested previously for burglary.
Jacqueline Medina and her family had relocated to Edna, a town located 25 miles northeast of Victoria in southeast Texas, last year. She disclosed that her daughter was honored during a school football game on Thursday, where the cheerleading squad and her family wore purple, representing the teen’s favorite color.