BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The body of a missing 13-year-old girl was found late Tuesday night behind the garage of a house on Newburgh Avenue in Buffalo.
LaNasha "Nay Nay" Rollerson was last seen by her family on Poplar Street on Sunday. Authorities were called when she did not return to her Proctor Avenue home and a search was initiated. Residents on Newburgh Avenue near Hagen Street say there were rumors Rollerson had been seen in the neighborhood, but when she was not located, police released her photo Tuesday, which News 4 shared with viewers.
Later that night, acting on tips from the public, Rollerson's body was found behind the garage of a home on Newburgh Avenue by a Buffalo Police K-9 unit. A young woman, who asked to not be identified, says she called police after she noticed what looked like someone trying to cover up a crime.
At the scene Wednesday morning, homicide detectives were investigating a home on Hagen Street as well as area where the teen's body was found on Newburgh Avenue.
Commissioner Dan Derenda said, "The Buffalo Police Department is working around the clock to bring this killer to justice."
After an autopsy, Rollerson's death was ruled a homicide, but police have not said how she was murdered, only that they believe she was killed late Saturday night or early Sunday morning.
Neighbors tell News 4 police took away a portion of a mattress as evidence from the upper apartment of a home on Hagen Street. Residents also wonder if the death had anything to do with a large group of teen-aged boys that hangs out at the corner almost every night.
Neighbors say they even hard shots fired late Saturday night, but police responded and did not find anyone who had been shot.
Even though they didn't know her, residents of the neighborhood where the teen was found say they are heartbroken over the death of the child.
"I think it's disturbing for a 13-year-old girl to have to go through this, and her family to have to mourn. It's just terrible. I feel bad for the family," bystander Britnee Lee said. "Usually when you hear about runaways, you just know they're just running away. Hopefully they'll find them alive. Or somewhere with their friends. Nothing like this though."
Thirty-year resident of Newburgh Avenue Warrene Killian said, "It's just hard. It hurts. Thirteen-years-old, that's just a baby. We want everybody to just be aware of where their kids are, and just neighbors just need to help out. Whoever this little girl is, I know her parents and relatives are hurting. It's so sad. My heart just goes out."
Wednesday afternoon, family and friends of Rollerson gathered at a local community center to mourn together. The 13-year-old girl would have started eighth grade at Charles Drew Science Magnet School on Thursday.
Madge Whiskey, the family's minister, said, "LaNasha was a very bright young woman. She was very energetic; she was fun loving. Everything you asked, she had an answer for."
Detectives are looking to find anyone who may have seen the teen after she went missing on Sunday. If you have any information, call 847-2255.
Hundreds of workers, politicians and residents of Chautauqua County rallied in Dunkirk calling on state regulators to approve plans for NRG to convert and reopen a power plant.
Police are following up on some leads to find out who killed 30 year-old Desirae James. Friends and family held a vigil Saturday night.
Volunteers at Buffalo’s Salvation Army created holiday cards and gift bags for the seniors at the Golden Age Center.
Buffalo police homicide detectives have identified an Eggertsville man who was shot and killed early Saturday morning.
An airman from Niagara Falls was away training for the Air Force for months. After being a part from his family, he decided to surprise them at Kelly’s Country Store in Grand Island.
Seventy-two years after the attack that launched the US into World War II, Western New Yorkers remembered the fatal day at Pearl Harbor Hawaii.