Relatives Wondering If Killer Used Bleach On Victim To Try To Hide Evidence

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 15-year-old girl was found dead Friday morning, just hours after visiting family on Thanksgiving, CBS 2 has learned.

Detectives were working the scene Friday night and confirmed they had found traces of a bleach-like substance on the girl’s beaten body. That has prompted the family to ask whether a chemical was used to conceal a crime, Sean Hennessey reported.

There was heartbreak in Hunts Point as Destiny Sanchez’s family members showed up at the crime scene with candles and a simple question.

“Why would they do this senseless crime to a 15-year-old?” said Edwin Soto, the victim’s cousin.

The teen’s body was discovered just after 8 a.m. Friday in the vestibule of a Baretto Street building. She had been in the building Thanksgiving night visiting family. Police said they are talking to everyone Sanchez came in contact with, but haven’t questioned anyone as a suspect.

However, detectives did spend much of the night processing the top floor apartment.

One man’s niece discovered the body in the first-floor hallway.

“She told me ’Tio, Tio, I found the body. She found the body – dead,” neighbor Jose Caraballo said.

Sanchez’s family relayed some disturbing details. When asked what he heard happened to the teen, Soto, her cousin, told Hennessey “That she was beaten to death.”

Hennessey then asked another cousin, Charlie Soto, if he had heard anything about the use of bleach.

“Yeah, she had bleach on her pants, on her stomach,” Charlie Soto said.

Police sources told CBS 2’s Hennessey the bleach may have been an attempt to hide evidence, such as DNA. While detectives are trying to retrace the teen’s steps by looking at neighborhood surveillance videos, the teen’s devastated family is also searching for answers.

“It’s not worth it, for what?  What did she do to you? She’s just a little girl,” cousin Jonathan Regalo said.

“We don’t know if there was any sexual abuse. We don’t know if there was a gang affiliation,” Edwin Soto added.

And they had the following message for whoever is responsible:

“I just want you to come forward and turn yourself in, ‘cause you all know who you all are. Just stop running,” Charlie Soto said.

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