DENVER — A suspect was arrested Saturday in connection with the death of a 16-year-old girl who was found in northeast Denver last month, the Denver Police Department said.
Tayanna Manuel was found dead Dec. 26 outside an apartment complex on North Salida Street in the Gateway-Green Valley Ranch neighborhood.
Police said a suspect was arrested Saturday and was being held on suspicion of first-degree murder. Because he is under 18, police did not release his name or any other details.
"Justice for my daughter. That’s all I want, is justice for my daughter," Tayanna's mother Pamela Jackson said.
She compared hearing that detectives made an arrest in the case to winning the lottery.
"Because I was happy that he was finally caught," she said. "And now he's going get what's coming to him."
Jackson told 9NEWS on Dec. 27 that she believed her daughter was killed Dec. 23 in a shooting that also sent her boyfriend to the hospital.
Jackson said her daughter was last seen the night of Dec. 22. The next day, her daughter’s boyfriend was shot in the 4600-block of Kittredge Street, but she said the family didn’t know at the time that she was with him.
When Tayanna still hadn’t come home on Saturday morning – Christmas Eve – the family reported her missing to Denver Police. Her body was found two days later.
"She had a wonderful soul," Jackson said of her daughter.
She also had a sense of style -- and wanted to train as a beautician when she got older.
"She loved to do hair and have her nails done. Seemed like she was getting her nails done every other week, but she was a teenager and so that's what she loved to do," Jackson said.
She also loved her phone like a teenager and she loved taking smiling selfies with her sisters, her family recalled.
"That smile just melted my heart. She could ask for anything and she would have it," Tayanna's grandmother Edith Jackson-Norris said.
"I would've gladly took that bullet for her," she said. "I've had my life lived. She was just beginning and she had so much to live for."
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