A Tyler Junior College student is dead after what appears to be a home invasion Wednesday night in the New Chapel Hill area.
Reports say the victim’s brother discovered Amanda Anderson, 19, dead in their home around 7 p.m. last night. According to these reports, the brother left the house to go jogging and returned shortly after.
“He wasn’t gone but just a very short time and when he returned to the residence…he discovered the back door opened and it appeared that someone had forced the back door opened,” Lt. Tony Dana said. “He went into the residence to search for his sister and he found his sister in her bedroom and it appeared that she had suffered a gunshot wound”
Police are investigating whether or not it was a break-in or if the victim knew the person responsible.
“Right now we are still processing the scene,” Dana said. “We’re still gathering facts and information.”
The body has been sent to the southwest forensics center in Dallas for an autopsy, and the detectives are still continuing with their investigation.
“Our investigators will remain on the scene and continue the processing, the forensic processing of the residence until they’ve covered every square inch inside and outside of the residence,” Dana said. “We will not release the scene until we are confident that we have collected every piece of evidence that we can get.”
According to Dana, the Smith County Sheriff’s Department has been in close contact with District Attorney Matt Bingham to make sure they are doing all the right things with their investigation.
“We’ve got a lot of resources tied up on this thing and we’re going to use everything that we have in order to try to come to some kind type of a conclusion on this thing,” Dana said.
TJC officials have confirmed Anderson was in her third semester at TJC, majoring in English. TJC will observe a moment of silence at the annual Founders’ Day Memorial ceremony tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. and at the beginning of the TJC vs. Navarro Homecoming football game at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium on Saturday night.
“The entire TJC family is shocked and saddened by this tragedy,” Director of Marketing and Public Affairs Fred Peters said. “We ask for prayers and thoughts for the family, students and TJC faculty and staff who knew Amanda. We are a family in grief today for the loss of this young life.”
Anderson was also a part-time employee at Trinity Mother Frances Health System, officials with the hospital said. She was a unit secretary in the Ornelas Towers.
“All of us at Trinity Mother Frances are devastated by the horrible tragedy of the death of Amanda Anderson,” said John Moore, public information officer, Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics. “Amanda was part of the Trinity Mother Frances family. We are grieving with the family and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this very difficult time.”
On her fathers facebook page, Mark Anderson wrote, “Stacie and I lost our baby girl last night. All we can do is pray and cry. Thank you all for your continued love and support.”
Since the news of her death went out this morning, friends and family have showed their support for the Anderson family by posting encouraging comments on his facebook wall.
Amanda Anderson’s family released a statement earlier today stating, “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.”
If anyone has any information or tips, please call the information hotline (903) 566-6600.
Staff writers Christopher Jones, Bridget Richardson, Haley Smith, Casey Stewart, Kassidy Verska, Jeff Wright and Kisha White contributed to this report.