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Teen found in woods, death being investigated as homicide

Police: Woman died from asphyxiation
Posted at 4:25 PM, Aug 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 11:55:23-04

The death of a teen in Havre de Grace has been ruled a homicide.  No suspects have been named but the family of Maleigha Solonka was justice.

"I want my baby back, I want my back and I want to know why someone had to kill her," Solonka's grandmother, Donna Lee Elliott, told ABC2 News through tears.

Detectives were called to the 400 block of Webb Lane Wednesday afternoon after someone found the girl's body in a wooded area.

"She had her whole future ahead of her, she was awesome softball player, she had so many friends and such a bright future,"  said Elliott.

Solonka was reported missing earlier this week. She was last seen on August 9, 2017 at 3 p.m. in the area of Windsor Valley in Edgewood, Maryland.

Darlene DuPree, one of Solonka's guardian's said, "I was hoping it wasn't true.  I just want her back."

Over 100 family members and friends gathered in an Edgewood neighborhood to honor Solonka's memory Thursday evening.

"You can see touched people all over the place," Solonka's second guardian, Vance DuPree told ABC2.

Her body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland for an autopsy, which ruled her cause of death as asphyxiation.

Havre de Grace Police are now investigating her death as a homicide. 

"It's just a sad moment right now and I wish things were different but we can't change what happened but what I will say is that we will get justice for you and that I love you with all my heart," John Burton, Solonka's uncle, sobbed.

Solonka's family say she was a victim of domestic violence. They set up a GoFundMe page to help lay her to rest.

"She was a breath of fresh air, she was just a good kid that wanted a chance," DuPree said.

Elliott added, "This isn't fair.  I hope whomever did this, rots in hell."