Bryan PD Says Blinn Student Murdered

By: Ashlea Sigman Email
By: Ashlea Sigman Email

For two weeks, Bryan Police have called the death of a Blinn College student, suspicious. Now, police say 20-year-old Jenna Verhaalen was murdered.

Friends and neighbors say Verhaalen was full of life.

"She just seemed down to earth, a good person," said neighbor Blake Jenkins.

Thursday, autopsy results revealed Verhaalen was strangled the night before she was found in her apartment.

Bryan Police say the autopsy just confirms the work they've already been doing.

"We did not have an obvious sign of death, so we treated it as a homicide from the very beginning," said Bryan Police Detective Steven Fry.

News that Verhaalen was murdered, left a community already on edge, even more concerned.

"I don't know why anybody would do anything like that," said Jenkins.

"With all the hush-hush with this case, I don't know whether to feel safe about living here or not," said neighbor Jessica Day.

Police say they have several persons of interest.

"All the previous homicides that I've worked in my career, its always been found that the person who did the attacking was known by the victim," said Detective Fry.

Residents at Autumn Woods say Verhaalen's death has changed their quiet community.

"A lot of the young ladies that live across from me, back when this happened, they went back home," said Jenkins.

"My parents don't feel safe with me living here," said Day. "My dad makes me carry around my mace everyday now."

Bryan Police want to reassure the community that the department is using every available resource on this case.

"We are doing everything we can to determine who did this," said Fry.

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