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Death of 13-year-old Buffalo girl ruled homicide

Photo from Facebook

A Buffalo Public School student was found dead late Tuesday night. The family of 13-year-old Lanasha Rollerson reported her missing Sunday. 

The family confirmed to several media outlets that it was the body of their daughter discovered near Newburgh Avenue and Hagen Street. Police confirmed her identity late Wednesday afternoon.

An autopsy was conducted Wednesday morning to determine the cause of death. The death has been ruled a homicide.     

"The Buffalo Police Department is working around the clock to bring this killer to justice," said Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda.

Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda briefing reporters Wednesday on the investigation.

But at a news conference late Wednesday afternoon, Derenda was limited in what he could reveal in the investigation.

"In this case, by the time she was reported (missing) we believe she was already deceased," said Derenda.

Homicide Squad detectives are attempting to locate anyone who may have seen the missing girl, who was reportedly missing from Proctor Avenue on Sunday. The teen was reported missing to police, and the media were alerted to assist in the search for the missing girl. 

Police said late Tuesday night the body was discovered, in a garage behind a residence in the 100 block of Newburgh.

Buffalo Schools Chief of Student Support Will Keresztes told reporters school officials were notified that the 13-year-old, who attended School 59, was found dead.

"It is a terrible tragedy for the school district.  There is never anything normal about the loss of a student," said Keresztes. "We do have a protocol that we have engaged today. Our crisis team is on site working with faculty and of course preparing for students tomorrow." 

Buffalo Public Schools begin a new school year Thursday, September 5.  School 59 is the Dr. Charles R. Drew School of Science on Poplar Avenue.

"She was a beloved student and there are a lot of children and families that are really hurting today," said Keresztez.