Five days ago, three days ago and now six days ago — on June 14, 2017, 18-year-old Lauren Smith died after being strangled in her apartment in west Florida.
Her body was found in a bedroom of her apartment.
She had been raped by a man who was also inside the apartment.
On the morning of June 15, a few days before her death, police said they had arrested a man named Richard Jones for the crime.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Jones was a known gang member who had a history of drug dealing and sexual assault.
A police report said Jones confessed to killing Smith and burying her body.
But after investigators searched his apartment, they found no signs of a crime scene.
In a Facebook post, the Smith family released a statement to the media, in which they said, “Our family and friends know that this is an ongoing investigation.
We ask that you respect our privacy and respect our grieving process.
We are working with authorities in Florida to assist them in any way we can.”
The family said they were still waiting for the results of a DNA test that they said was performed on the rape kit.
They said they wanted to make sure the results weren’t tampered with, and that the investigation was “done and concluded in an objective manner.”
But after the family released the statement, the Sheriff’s office said the results were inconclusive and said it would be conducting an investigation.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement told CBC News the results are still being processed and the department is not in a position to comment on the case.
The department said in a statement that it was aware of the family’s request for privacy and “will continue to investigate this matter.”
The Broward sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to CBC News’ requests for comment.
The sheriff’s department has not released a description of Jones, but in the statement it said that “we cannot speculate on the motives of this person, but are confident that the evidence will assist us in determining the cause of death.”
On the day of Smith’s death, she had been scheduled to attend an event for students from her school, the Northside Charter Academy in Orlando, which has more than 1,000 students.
She was also scheduled to be part of a team-building activity for students in the Orlando area.
“Her death is a tragic loss,” the school said in its statement.
“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Smith Family and all the families of Lauren Smith and all those who knew her.”
The sheriff’s investigation has been widely criticized by her family, many of whom have called for an independent inquiry into the crime, and for the criminal justice system to overhaul how the investigation is conducted.
The family also wrote a letter to President Donald Trump on behalf of the Smiths, asking him to appoint a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation.
“The fact that we are waiting to receive any official response to this heartbreaking tragedy speaks volumes of how the criminal system and the criminal-justice system system itself have failed to protect the Smith and Smith family,” the family wrote in their letter.
“Instead, we have seen a pattern of indifference and a disregard for the safety of Lauren and her classmates.
Lauren’s death was a crime of indifference, and she will be remembered as a victim, not as a murderer.”
For more local news, go to abcnews.go.com/us-politics/country/florida-police-search-home-home