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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. – The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis has identified a young woman who was found dead early Tuesday morning in Pacific, Missouri.

Franklin County deputies were called to Highway 100 and Country Aire Lane around 7 a.m. after a person’s body was found next to a vehicle, according to Major Case Squad spokesman Lt. Tom Wilkison.

Law enforcement identified the woman as 18-year-old Kiley Kennedy. She was a senior at Eureka High School, set to graduate in the spring.

Kennedy’s death is being investigated as a homicide, Wilkison said.

Gia Lakey, Kennedy’s friend, said she found out about her death on Snapchat.

“My heart just sank to my stomach,” said Lakey. “She truly was a good person.”

Lakey said she was talking with Kennedy hours before her death, and when she didn’t reply she felt that something was wrong.

“I kept calling after because, usually, she answers,” Lakey said. “Then, I found out the hard way, in just the worst way possible.”

The Rockwood School District has made arrangements for any student affected by Kennedy’s death. Rockwood Interim Superintendent Tim Ricker released the following statement:

Dear Rockwood Families:

It is with great sadness that I share that we have lost another member of our Rockwood family. Kiley Kennedy, a senior at Eureka, passed away unexpectedly yesterday. Dr. Corey Sink, EHS principal, has reached out to Kiley’s family to offer our sympathy, concern and support.  

Our district has certainly experienced tremendous loss in a very short amount of time. Once again, we stand ready to offer counseling support as necessary for all our students and staff in the coming days.

For information about mental health resources in Rockwood, please visit our website or reach out to your child’s school. Rockwood has a wonderful, caring community and I’m confident that we can lean on each other for comfort and support in the coming days and weeks.

Please join us in expressing our deepest sympathy to Kiley’s family and friends, as well as the students and staff at Eureka High School. Let’s continue to wrap our arms around each other and do all we can to find a way to heal together through this difficult time. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Case Squad Tip Line at 636-583-2560 (ext. 3002 or 3004) or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.