MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A missing Barry University student is confirmed to be the same woman found dead on a street corner in Miami.
On Saturday, February 10 at around 4:20 a.m., officers responded to gunfire at the corner of Northwest 29th Avenue and 12th Street. That’s where they found a woman lying face down in the street.
She was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she died. But they didn’t know who she was. She had no identification.
“The problem was that she had no identification on her and we could not identify her through fingerprints,” said Miami Police spokesman and officer Michael Vega.
They released a sketch to the public in hopes that someone would identify her.
The same day her body was found, the Miami Shores Police Department released a missing person flyer for 19-year-old Priscilla Torres who was reported missing by her mother.
Monday, police identified the dead woman as Priscilla Torres.
The aunt of Priscilla Torres says the 19-year-old’s family cannot understand why anyone would hurt this young woman.
“We’re trying to comprehend what happened and why it happened,” the aunt said. “She was a very beautiful girl. And for us to know her the way we know her. There’s no words to express the pain and sorrow our family is feeling right now.”
Torres’s family and friends say she came to Barry University to study nursing with hopes of working in sports medicine.
She left an impression on those who knew her, like Safire Brissett, who shared an acting class with Torres.
“She just made everything better,” Brissett said. “Just her personality. She was just very outgoing. She joked a lot so it was nice.”
Students received an email Monday alerting them to Torres’ death.
“I was looking at it last night and I didn’t want to believe it,” Brissett said. “And then when I found out this morning that she was dead — distraught, terrible. I just started crying.”
There are lots of tears in Torres’ hometown of Naples, where her family is desperate to find the person who took this young woman with a bright future away from them.
“She was everything to everyday and such a waste that a child was taken from her mom and her father and her brother at this time,” Torres’ aunt said. “There’s nothing we can say or do at this time but hope whoever did this is caught.”
Fellow students were shocked to hear Torres, a freshman, had been killed.
“She was always a really friendly person. Really nice, open to everyone and really honest,” said one student.
Another added, “She was extremely creative, she always wanted to do projects with fellow students.”
A third student said, “It puts a knot in my stomach because it could happen to anyone. To hear that it happened to another student it really hurts the whole community.”
“It’s surreal, it’s terrifying and really sad,” said another student. “We didn’t know her but we feel really bad for her family and friends.”
Scott Smith, the Vice President for Student Affairs at Barry University, released a statement that said in part, “Words fail to express the shock and deep sorrow that we, her Barry family, are experiencing. We offer sympathy, prayers and comfort to everyone…who loved her and shared her young life.”
He said the school was offering counseling to anyone who needed it.
The vehicle that she was last seen in, a white Nissan Sentra with FL Tag: HZBU86, has not been found.
A friend of the victim told D’Oench that Torres had texted or told someone early Saturday that she believed she was being followed by a black BMW.
Miami Police did put out a BOLO, a be-on-the-lookout bulletin, for a dark colored car.
The motive behind the shooting is unknown.
Miami Police Officer Mike Vega said, “We are urging you that if you know something, say something and you can help us solve this case. We need someone to come forward.”
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Miami Police Department’s Homicide Unit at (305) 603-6350. Those with information that wish to remain anonymous can contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471- TIPS (8477), visit www.crimestoppersmiami.com and select “Give a Tip” or Send a text message to 274637. Enter CSMD followed by the tip information and press send.
There is a reward of up to $3,000.