Friend shot 15-year-old girl found dead near road, deputies say

Tips led to arrest in death of Melanie Mesen Medina

ORLANDO, Fla. – A 16-year-old girl fatally shot her 15-year-old friend, and then, with the help of a man, dumped her body near Ziegler Road in Orlando, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

The body of Melanie Mesen Medina, 15, was found at 8:29 a.m. Tuesday near Ziegler Road, which is about 25 miles from her home in northeast Orange County. Deputies said Medina's fully clothed body showed signs of trauma, and they believe she was dumped there overnight.

Crimeline tips led detectives to question Ramsys Javier Cruz Abreu, 22, on early Thursday morning at an apartment near Conroy Road. Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said Abreu was trying to leave in a black, four-door Acura with a hole on the right side of the windshield and a black handgun on the front seat.

Demings said Abreu was in that car with Medina and a 16-year-old girl she was friends with Monday night when the teen shot Medina. Abreu and the girl dumped Medina's body near Ziegler Road, he said.

"I think it was just convenient for them. It was a location they could go, they felt they could dump the body without being discovered by others,” Demings said.

 


Demings said the 16-year-old girl told deputies she shot Medina. The teen's name has not been released because she is a minor and charges have not been filed.

She has been "somewhat cooperative" with the criminal investigation, authorities said. She is in her parents' custody, not under arrest.

Demings said there is no indication the shooting was a targeted attack or that there is an ongoing threat to the community.

"At this time, we have no indication that this is a case related to human trafficking," he said. "What it is related to is a few very young people, teenagers, who were out doing some very adult-like things that they shouldn’t have been involved in."

Officials originally thought Medina was in her early 20s, but released her name and age late Wednesday afternoon. Medina was withdrawn from Corner Lake Middle School on April 6. She was an eighth-grade student there, according to Orange County Public Schools officials.

Demings and Crimeline Executive Director Barb Bergin said this case highlights the importance of community involvement when it comes to solving crimes.

"Information was coming in from citizens," Bergin said. "It was immediately sent over to the detectives who are working this case, which led them to be able to get to suspects' identities and more importantly, probably, physical evidence, because had that car and that gun and other things been destroyed, it would have held them up much longer in being able to solve the case."

Bergin said Crimeline received 20 or fewer tips related to Medina's death. She urges anyone with additional information about the death to step forward.

Thursday night, friends of Medina's took to social media to remember her.

Several people posted pictures of her, reading, "Rest in peace."

One friend posted a song he wrote about her.

At the bottom of the page, he wrote, "This is for my loving friend. You're in a much better place. We love you."

Abreu is being held on $50,000 bond Thursday night at the Orange County Jail. He made his first appearance before a judge Thursday afternoon. He is charged with accessory after the fact.


About the Authors:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013. He is one of the station’s lead reporters. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.