Police authorities in Marion County of Central Florida have identified three boys responsible for the gruesome killing of two girls and one boy. The three victims all died through gunshot wounds within one week, and Sheriff Billy Woods believes the killings are gang-related. Two youths have been arrested and the third suspect is at large.
Woods identified the arrested suspects as 12-year-old Christopher De’l Atkins and 17-year-old Robert Le’Andrew Robinson. The third suspect who is yet to be apprehended is 16-year-old Tahj Brewton. The youths who are charged with first-degree are blamed for the killings of Layla Silvernail, 16; Camille Quarles, 16; and a 17-year-old boy whose name was not revealed.
Woods said there are reasons to believe that the suspects and victims were involved in petty crimes and belonged to neighborhood gangs. “And at some point, these three individuals turned on our three victims and murdered them,” he said. “Not only are the victim’s juveniles, but the murderers are juveniles as well.”
According to the police, Silvernail was found beside a road in the Forest Lakes Park area on March 30 with a gunshot injury. She was transported to the hospital but died from her injuries. On the morning of March 31, the authorities received a report that a teenage boy was shot dead beside the road. And on the third day which was April 1, the police discovered the body of Quarles in the trunk of Silvernail’s 2015 Chevy Cruze which was partially pushed into a lake.
Russel Pierce, the CEO of Southeastern Fastpitch, mourned that Silvernail was a talented softball player who was killed before her time. “Southeastern Fastpitch and the Marion County softball players are grieving the loss of Layla Silvernail, who was taken from us too soon,” he said. “Layla was a caring young lady, an amazing athlete, and a cherished teammate to so many young girls.”
A GoFundMe account was created for Silvernail, and her family plans on donating her organs. Quarles’ junior sister also created a GoFundMe page for her and lamented her loss.
“Camille was a very beautiful person,” Quarles’s sister wrote. “She was really good at softball, she liked volleyball and basketball. She liked puzzles. She was really good at braiding my hair. She might’ve had ups and downs in life but she was still a good person. Camille liked to draw people and flowers. She loved clothes and shoes. I will forever miss my sister.”
Marion County Chief Assistant State Attorney, Walter Forgie, said he looks forward to prosecuting the three suspects identified in the gruesome killings of the three Central Florida teens.