Deputies investigate after 3 teens shot, left for dead in Florida

Marion County Sheriff’s Office is releasing more details after three teenagers were shot and their bodies dumped in multiple locations in Ocklawaha
Published: Apr. 4, 2023 at 1:28 AM EDT
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OCKLAWAHA, Fla. (WCJB/Gray News) - Deputies in Florida are investigating after three teenagers were shot and their bodies dumped in multiple locations near Ocklawaha. One of the victims was inside a car, and two others were found along the side of roadways.

Deputies with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office found a car partially submerged in a pond Saturday. Inside the vehicle, a 16-year-old girl was found dead. The sheriff’s office is not releasing the identity of the girl due to Marsy’s Law.

Investigators determined the vehicle belongs to 16-year-old Layla Silvernail. She was found late Thursday night in a dumpster. Friends tell WCJB she is hospitalized in critical condition for treatment of a gunshot wound to the head.

A 17-year-old boy was found dead on the side of the road Friday morning. His identity has not been released.

“My emotions were plain, clear as can be that these kids didn’t even get to start their lives, and these parents and these families are devastated,” said Sara Berghuis, a resident of the area.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods clarifies that no fourth victim has been linked to this case, despite rumors on social media indicating there are additional victims. He also says the suspect is not considered a serial killer.

No arrests have been made in the case.

“Now, we are looking for help,” the sheriff said. “We are looking for help for the families who have lost a loved one, and there are folks out there that know.”

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Detective Ryan Stith at (352) 368-3542. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers of Marion County at (352)368-STOP (7867) and reference 23-22 in your tip.