Jasmine Melendez was a 15-year-old girl from Midland, Texas, who died after she was beaten and sexually assaulted on Tuesday, October 20, her family said. NewsWest9 reported that family members said Melendez was “sexually assaulted and beaten” on Tuesday and flown to a hospital in Dallas where she later died.
CBS7 first reported that Melendez was found “dumped in a yard” and had suffered a major brain injury and had fluid in her brain, according to family members. The outlet also reported that the teenager suffered a heart attack and died in the hospital. On Friday, the Midland Police Department issued a statement, as shared by Shane Battis of CBS7, that “detectives have found no indication of foul play or criminal conduct” but that the investigation is ongoing.
The Midland authorities issued a statement on Thursday to CBS7, reads: “The Midland Fire Department responded to a call for medical assistance on October 20, 2020 and due to the nature of the call, involving a juvenile, asked the Midland Police Department for assistance. The Midland Police Department responded and an investigation is ongoing.”
A spokesperson for the Midland Police Department also told NewsWest9 that, “To the extent that there may be a criminal investigation involving sexual assault of a child, the City is unable to comment or confirm any information.” Heavy also reached out to the MPD for more information but did not immediately hear back.
The Midland Independent School District spoke about the situation during a Thursday press conference but provided no additional details about Melendez’s death. About 37 minutes into the press conference, a question was asked about a student “allegedly assaulted near (Midland High School), she was sent to the (Dallas-Fort Worth) metroplex and died.”
Dr. Katie Atkins, the district’s chief of staff, answered: “I don’t have further information on that unfortunate situation, absolutely tragic situation, our hearts and our sympathies are certainly with that family. I don’t have further information to share with this group at this time.”
Melendez Was an Athlete Who Played Softball & She Was Honored at Thursday Night’s Games
Melendez was passionate about softball and well known around the Midland United Girls Softball (MUGS) complex, where she spent a lot of time, NewsWest9 reported. Those who knew her described her to the outlet as “sweet and hardworking.” Jennifer Evans, one of her former softball coaches, said she was a star athlete and an even better person:
She was really compassionate, she would just lift everybody you know what I mean, she was encouraging. People called her feet because she was crazy fast. Even the ones who needed help or guidance or anything she would help them out she was a great friend. Her smile lit it up the room, it lit up the field.
The outlet reported that the games on Thursday night all began with a moment of silence for Melendez, and the players wrote her number, 12, on their cheeks. A video posted to Twitter showed the emotional moment that her teammates carried her jersey around the bases:
Rick Maddox with the MUGS Softball Organization told NewsWest9, “She deserves the honor of what we’re doing tonight and in respects of everybody because she earned that but it’s just I hate that we have to do it you know for that reason that she’s gone.”
Many Midland Groups Are Organizing Fundraisers to Support Melendez’s Family
The Midland High School’s softball team announced on Facebook that they would be setting up two accounts, one to support the family with medical and funeral expenses and another to create a “scholarship account that will honor the hard work and dedication Jasmine has given to the program.”
The family also set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for Melendez’s mother for “medical bills, funeral expenses, and any others costs endured.”
Shane Battis with CBS7 also posted on Facebook about a barbeque and car show on Sunday in Midland that will help raise funeral funds for the family.