Detectives Investigate Death of 18-year-old Central Iowa Woman
DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines police are investigating the death of an 18-year-old woman Monday.
Police received a 911 call at 9:23 p.m. Sunday about a woman who was not breathing at 606 Boyd St. When medics arrived, they discovered Judy VanLo, 18, had already died.
Police have interviewed VanLo's family and friends. They have not said how she died.
Police spokesman Sgt. Christopher Scott said detectives saw "obvious injuries," but they won't know exactly what caused her death until an autopsy can be performed.
No arrests have been made.
People who knew VanLo are wondering who would want to hurt her.
She was by all accounts a vibrant girl. Her numerous yearbook photos show her in choir, on the yearbook staff, participating in a talent show and cheerleading.
VanLo had just graduated from North High School in Des Moines last month. Her Facebook page said she was planning to study early childhood development at DMACC in the fall.
Sommani Phanthavong was VanLo's employer. She worked part-time as a waitress at this Laotian and Thai food restaurant on Indianola Avenue.
Sommani said she was a good employee. She says she and the rest of the staff were shocked to hear someone had hurt VanLo.
"It's very heartbreaking -- really, really heartbreaking. She's so young and full of life and I don't know why this thing happened to a good person," said Phanthavong.
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