Illegal migrant arrested for murder of cheerleader

EDNA, TX – A man has been apprehended in connection with the murder of 16-year-old cheerleader Lizbeth Medina in Texas, law enforcement officials have reported. The teenager’s body was found by her mother in their home’s bathtub on Tuesday.

The accused, Rafael Govea Romero, was taken into custody on Saturday in Schulenburg, Texas. He is being charged with capital murder for the death of the high school student, as per the police. Romero was arrested approximately 75 miles north of Edna, in Schulenburg, by the Texas Rangers and local law enforcement. He is currently being held in the Jackson County Jail, according to Edna Police Chief Rick Boone. Specifics surrounding the arrest have not yet been revealed.

Lizbeth Medina was expected to perform at a local Christmas parade with her cheerleading team on the day her body was discovered. When she failed to appear, her mother, Jacqueline Medina, began a search that ended in the tragic discovery at their residence.

Romero’s arrest followed a day after the Edna Police Department publicized their search for a person and vehicle related to Medina’s murder. The arrest took place while a candlelight vigil was being held in Medina’s honor by classmates and community members.

Despite the arrest, Police Chief Boone acknowledges the ongoing grief of Medina’s family and friends, and the need for continued community support. He expressed relief that the residents of Edna can now rest easier.

Prior to Romero’s arrest, images of an individual and vehicle of interest were released by the Edna police. The man in the images was reported to possibly have a tattoo behind his right ear and was seen in a black hooded sweatshirt. He was also seen driving a silver Ford Taurus, model year between 2010 and 2018.

The police have not yet disclosed if there was a prior relationship between Medina and Romero, who was an illegal immigrant into the United States, or if the incident was random. Further details surrounding Medina’s death have been limited and an autopsy report is still pending.

Jacqueline Medina and her family relocated to Edna, a town around 25 miles northeast of Victoria in southeast Texas, last year. She shared that her daughter was remembered at her school’s football game on Thursday night, where her cheerleading squad and family donned purple, the teen’s favorite color.