16-Year Old Found Dead by Highway 99 Was Murdered

September 18, 2008 6:31:23 PM PDT
South valley investigators now say the 16-year old found dead on the side of a rural road was murdered. And detectives are working with very little information to find out who is responsible for Molly Ervin's death.Family members have set up this memorial where 16-year old Molly Ervin's body was found. They say the death of Molly has torn their family apart. They say Molly was withdrawn, quiet and had no enemies.

Purple ribbons and bouquets of flowers lay hanging on the fence near where 16-year old Molly Ervin was found Tuesday afternoon. The rural area is just north of Tulare near Tagus Ranch and right off of busy Highway 99.

A note written from her cousin tells Molly he loves and misses her. Investigators say an autopsy on Wednesday revealed Molly died of asphyxiation, meaning she suffocated in some way, and could have been strangled.

Detectives believe she was murdered. But they are struggling to find out any details on her death.

Sgt Chris Douglass: "She's been in and out of the school systems so that's a very unfortunate situation thing too we don't have a whole lot of information we have to go to provide to the public."

Family members say Molly was home-schooled. They describe her as a happy, withdrawn girl who spent a lot of time with her niece and cousins. Her aunt says the tragedy has devastated her family.

PHONER: Terina Menges, Molly's Aunt: "Its put fear in all the children and pain in all of our hearts I mean she's a sweet girl there's no reason for this whoever did this I don't understand I don't because I don't see how anyone can look at her and want to hurt her she's very sweet."

Family members say they are still trying to make funeral arrangements for Molly.

Investigators are asking anyone with information on the murder to come forward.

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