Police and paramedics responded to Jonathan Law High School in Milford shortly after 7 a.m. in connection with the incident, which school officials are calling an isolated altercation between two students.
Maren Sanchez, 16, was found in a stairwell by staff members, who attempted to perform life-saving measures. She had visible, severe injuries around the neck area. EMS also attempted to keep the girl alive, but she was rushed to Bridgeport Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. She was planning on attending her prom Friday evening.
The suspect, a 16-year-old boy, was taken into custody. His identity is being withheld because of his age. Investigators are looking into reports that the boy was angry because Sanchez turned down an invitation to be his prom date.
Police say they have the school has surveilance cameras and are looking to see if the attack was caught on tape.
Sanchez's cousin Edward Kovac said at a news conference next to the school Friday afternoon that Maren should have been celebrating her prom this evening, calling her a teenager with "her future at her fingertips.""We are trying as a community to understand this senseless loss of life," said Kovac, adding that family was assisting investigators as needed.
Police said the school was eventually deemed safe, and students were dismissed for the day.
The junior prom and post prom, which were scheduled for Friday night, have been postponed. A new date has not been set yet."We are obviously devastated by the loss of one of our students, Maren Sanchez," said Milford Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Betty Feser. "She was a 16-year-old student, vibrant very involved in Jonathan Law High School."
Feser added Sanchez was wonderful young woman who was an athlete and in the National Honor Society. She said Sanchez was well-liked and popular, and counseling services will be available for students.