Family grieves over young Chapel Hill woman's homicide

Photo Source: Family
Photo Source: Family

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The call came in just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at a home on County Road 2273 near Chapel Hill. That is where they discovered the body of 19-year-old Amanda Elizabeth Anderson dead, inside.

It is the fourth Smith County homicide of the year.

Investigators worked through the night. They were back on-scene Thursday morning, crossing the tape for another look at things.

"They will spend, literally, hundreds of man hours trying to put this together," said Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith. "We have to look at everyone involved...neighbors...there will be literally hundreds of interviews on this."

Sheriff J.B. Smith says the victim's brother left the house earlier Wednesday night for a jog around the neighborhood. He came back and found the back door broken open. He would later make a more gruesome discovery inside his sister's bedroom.

"The victim had a gunshot wound to the back of the head," said Smith.

He says investigators are still searching the home.

"And, we'll go back through the home with the family to determine if there is anything missing," he explained.

"The loss of a child has to be...has to be heartbreaking," said Charles Faulks, who lives just two doors down from the crime scene.

"I thought it was the best kept secret in Tyler," said Faulks. "[It's a] very nice neighborhood. Quiet, and then all of a sudden, this happened."

Faulks spoke with us just moments before praying with the family.

"Maybe, this will help our neighborhood get to know each other and watch out for one another," he said.

A Facebook message gives a glimpse into the family's grief. Amanda's father Mark posted a photo of his daughter and the update: "Stacie and I lost our baby girl last night."

I spoke to Mark who declined an on camera interview, but the family did release this statement saying, "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Amanda. We ask that everyone respect our request to grieve privately. We ask for your prayers for strength."

Authorities say, at this time, it does not appear the victim was sexually assaulted and they are still working to find a motive for the crime.

Amanda's body has been sent to Dallas for autopsy.

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