Motive still unclear after 23-year-old man arrested in murder of Edna High School cheerleader

Authorities confirmed 16-year-old Lizbeth Medina was stabbed to death. The murder suspect was given a $2 million bond.

Courtney Fischer Image
Monday, December 11, 2023
16-year-old Edna cheerleader was stabbed to death, police confirm
A $2 million bond was granted to Rafael Romero, charged with capital murder in the stabbing death of 16-year-old Edna HS cheerleader Lizbeth Medina.

EDNA, Texas (KTRK) -- Authorities on Monday released new information about the man charged with the murder of a high school cheerleader who was stabbed to death in Edna, Texas.

Rafael Govea Romero is booked in the Jackson County Jail, charged with capital murder in the death of 16-year-old Edna High School cheerleader Lizbeth Medina.

Edna police said Romero is 23 years old and added that he is undocumented with an expired visa.

PREVIOUS REPORT: Man arrested, charged in connection to death of Edna High School cheerleader, police say

Rafael Govea Romero is accused of killing 16-year-old Lizbeth Medina and has since been charged with capital murder after being arrested on Saturday.

Romero was arrested over the weekend in Schulenberg, about an hour northwest of Edna.

Before Romero's arrest, police released photos of a person of interest in the case. The photos showed a man, believed to be Romero, wearing a black 'Volcom' hooded sweatshirt. He was seen driving a silver Ford Taurus, with the model year ranging from 2010-2018.

SEE ALSO: Person of interest photos released in murder of Edna High School cheerleader

The Edna Police Department has released surveillance photos of a person of interest possibly linked to the death of a 16-year-old cheerleader.

In an update on Monday, police added that officers seized items of evidence from the silver Taurus to connect Romero to the murder, but did not say what those items were.

It was also revealed that Lizbeth had been stabbed to death.

Officials said Romero was granted a $2 million bond.

Police are trying to figure out if the two knew each other or if they had any kind of relationship.

ABC13 has been in touch with Lizbeth's family. They said they didn't recognize Romero at all.

On Dec. 5, Lizbeth's mother found her daughter dead in their Edna apartment. She said a few weeks prior, their home was broken into. She wondered if that was the motive again, but this time, Lizbeth happened to be home.

Jacqueline Medina claimed she knew something was wrong when her daughter didn't show up to the town's Lighted Christmas Parade, where she was supposed to perform with her cheer squad. That's when she said she rushed home.

The mother made the gruesome discovery and called police to the Cottonwood Apartments. First responders tried to save the teen, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Mother makes gruesome discovery after 16-year-old daughter allegedly murdered in their apartment

Lizbeth Medina, 16, a cheerleader at Edna High School, was found dead by her mother after the teen didn't show up to a cheer parade.

"She was bubbly, happy, funny. Basically, my friend. We grew up together. I had her when I was only 16," Medina said. "It was just her and I against the world, and they took her from me."

A GoFundMe was set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

Edna is a small town of nearly 6,000 people in Jackson County, located about 100 miles southwest of Houston.

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