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17-year-old killed; man held for questioning

By ErinPradia
March 3, 2012 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated March 2, 2012 at 9:03 p.m.

Tyrell Richards, 20, of Victoria, is detained for questioning by the Victoria Police Department in connection with the death of Cynthia Shands, 17, in the 100 block of N. Cameron St. Richards was later arrested and held for questioning.

The last time Cynthia Cola Shands saw her little sisters, she was filled with emotion and cried, her older sister Heather Shands, 25, recalled.

"Family meant the world to her," Shands said. "I didn't know that was the last time they'd be together."

Cynthia Shands, 17, was stabbed to death in a tan and white two-story home in the 100 block of North Cameron Street on Saturday.

Heather Shands said her sister, the middle of seven children, was always bright and happy.

"It was hard to make her mad," Shands said. "She was a very kind and caring person. She didn't deserve this. She always put everybody before herself."

Cynthia Shands was found on the second floor apartment of the house by her brother, Anthony Shands, 21, who then walked two blocks, carrying his son, Shaiden Shands, and called 911 from a house on Navarro Street.

The baby appeared to be a little older than a year and dressed only in a diaper. Shands, who appeared dazed, began pounding on the residents' front door and kept repeating that he needed to use the phone.

The resident of the home on Navarro Street, who declined to be identified, said he saw Anthony Shands walking down the street looking distraught.

When asked what was wrong, he said he had just discovered his sister dead in the upstairs bathtub of their home and that blood was everywhere. Her body was covered with towels, Shands told the man.

The resident of the Navarro home let Shands inside to use the phone and walked back with Shands to the residence at 1081/2 N. Cameron St.

Police officers and members of the Victoria Fire Department inundated the neighborhood just minutes after receiving the emergency call about 6 p.m.

Tyrell Richards, 20, who was discovered inside the house when police arrived, was arrested and questioned by officers Saturday evening, said Assistant Police Chief Roy Boyd.

Anthony Shands sat on the steps of a house across the street from the scene, burying his face in his hands as he waited to speak to police.

Neighbors took care of the baby while police questioned Shands.

Justice of the Peace Robert Whitaker arrived at the scene about 7 p.m. and ordered an autopsy, which is scheduled for Sunday.

Heather Shands said police informed the family that Cynthia Shands had been stabbed to death.

The victim had been dead for hours before her body was found, Boyd said.

A neighbor, Karen Berlin, said the front door to the second-story apartment usually is left wide open at all times. But she said she noticed the door had been shut throughout Saturday.

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