PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Beaverton Police Department announced Wednesday night that they are ruling the death of 13-year-old girl Milana Li as a homicide.
On Tuesday around 3 p.m., Beaverton police responded to what they called “suspicious circumstances” at Westside Linear Park near the intersection of SW Barrows Rd. and SW Horizon Blvd, which is where they discovered Li’s body in a small stream.
It was determined that Li was killed after the results of her autopsy came back Wednesday afternoon.
“Today, the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office did an autopsy and has ruled that the manner of death was a homicide,” said Matt Henderson with Beaverton Police Dept.
Savanna Tinline, a classmate of Li’s, along with her mom, Krista Tinline, came to visit the spot Li was found, while also bringing something to remember her by.
“Looking at the memorial, the flowers on the hard concrete,” said Krista. “I wanted something more permanent and she said, ‘mom, can we go down there? She really liked purple flowers.'”
While a nearby crosswalk serves as a makeshift memorial, they hope this small burst of color further down will brighten a spot darkened by Li’s death.
“My mother and I decided to plant some lavender and some purple flowers by the creek,” said Savanna, a sixth-grade student at Conestoga Middle School. “We wanted something that will just stay there for her.”
While police can’t yet go into how Li was killed or if they have a person of interest, they say her death is an active investigation.
“Currently, investigators believe there is not a continued threat to our community. However, I want to stress that this is an open investigation,” said Henderson. “Cases like this just rock a community and I want our community to know that the full power of the Beaverton Police Department is investigating this case. We’re going to bring whoever did this to Milana to justice and we appreciate our community’s support.”
Students who went to school with Li say while it can be hard to cope with this kind of news, they hope it will serve as a reminder for others to keep their guard up.”
When something like this happens, it’s not always easy to cope with,” said Savanna. “You can tell others so they’ll stay vigilant, you’ll stay vigilant and you’ll be able to protect more people.”
Back at the quiet spot near the stream, the Tinline family created the permanent floral memorial for Li, meanwhile, thinking of all of her loved ones in pain.
“I really hurt for all of the moms and the parents out there. This is the most horrible thing to happen,” said Krista. “It just feels right to be here and I’m so sorry for everyone in the community. I know there’s a lot of people hurting right now.”
Officers say they have received dozens of investigative tips from community members and are following up on multiple leads in this case.
The Beaverton Police Department wants to stress that this is an ongoing criminal investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Cindy Herring at 503-526-2280.
Additionally, Conestoga Middle School is offering extra counseling services for students and staff in need.
Matt Rawlings contributed to this story