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Man arrested on capital murder charge for Texas cheerleader found dead in bathtub

A man has been arrested in the death of a teenage cheerleader who was found dead in a bathtub at her Texas home.

Texas Rangers apprehended Rafael Govea Romero in Schulenburg, Texas, a day after Edna police released chilling images of a person of interest tied to the teen’s mysterious death. Romero was booked in the Jackson County Jail and charged with capital murder.

“Although Romero is apprehended, we recognize Lizbeth’s family and friends are grieving and will still need support from the community,” Edna Police Chief Rick Boone said in a news release.

On 6 December, Lizbeth Medina, 16, was found dead in a bathtub at the apartment she shared with her mother, Jacqueline Medina. Her cause of death still has not been publicly released.

Lizbeth Medina, 16,  was found dead in a bathtub on 6 December (Edna Police Department)
Lizbeth Medina, 16, was found dead in a bathtub on 6 December (Edna Police Department)

The teen was supposed to perform with her cheerleading squad at a Christmas parade in Edna, a town about 100 miles southwest of Houston, but she never showed up.

Lizbeth’s distraught mother made the heartbreaking discovery and told KTRK that upon finding her, she “realized she was gone.”

“There was no laced drugs, there was nothing like that. My daughter was found in a way that no mother should ever find their child,” her mother said.

“Words can’t explain what I felt at that moment finding my daughter in the matter that she was. All I can say is that I hope with all my heart that there is justice for my daughter.”

The mother and daughter had only lived in Edna for about a year when tragedy struck – and Ms Medina says she’s now living a nightmare.

Rafael Govea Romero was booked in the Jackson County Jail and charged with capital murder (Edna Police Department)
Rafael Govea Romero was booked in the Jackson County Jail and charged with capital murder (Edna Police Department)

“The most horrible way a mother could find her child,” she said. “She was murdered in cold blood.”

Ms Medina said Lizbeth, who was her only child, was everything to her.

“I lost it. She was my world, my everything. ... Everything I do was for her,” Ms Medina said.

She explained that Lizbeth had been looking forward to marching in the Christmas parade with her cheer squad.

“It should have been a great day because she was involved in the Christmas parade. She was going to be with the cheer squad,” the mother said.

Edna Police released chilling images of the person of interest following the teen’s death (Edna Police Department)
Edna Police released chilling images of the person of interest following the teen’s death (Edna Police Department)

Lizbeth was a student at Edna High School. Her mother said she has felt support from the community and will do all she can to get justice for her daughter.

“Someone dared to go in and just rip my daughter away from me, it just kills me,” she said.

“I just want answers to why they would do this to an amazing little girl who would never hurt anyone, wouldn’t dare to hurt anyone.”

A vigil was held on Saturday at the Jackson County Courthouse, with attendees wearing white in remembrance of Lizbeth.