Winter Haven woman Alicia McDonald found murdered in car

9:54 AM, Feb 8, 2012   |    comments
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Update:  Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says investigators have made a lot of progress in the investigation of the murder of 22-year-old Alicia McDonald.

The young woman was found dead insider her car early Tuesday morning.

The Sheriff says he plans to update the media today at 2:30 p.m.

Previous Story:

WINTER HAVEN, Florida -- The Polk County Sheriff's Office says around 2 a.m. Tuesday a boyfriend and girlfriend who live together woke up and noticed blood inside the home they share with 22-year-old Alicia Nicole McDonald.

The three lived together at 928 Sunshine Way SW in Winter Haven.

The couple's names have not been released at this time. They told investigators that after they discovered the blood, they noticed McDonald and her vehicle were missing.

The roommates spent two hours looking for her and made phone calls to try to find her. Around 4 a.m., they drove to the Winter Haven Police Department to report her missing.

Around 5:15 a.m., a Polk County Sheriff's deputy on patrol in the Winter Haven area found McDonald's vehicle parked at the end of a cul-de-sac on Varner Drive in Winter Haven. When he approached the blue, 2007 4-door Suzuki Forenza, he found McDonald dead in the passenger seat.

Detectives are not releasing details on how she was killed yet, but an autopsy is being performed on her body. 

Alicia McDonald's friends say she graduated from Lake Region High School in 2008. On Tuesday evening, a large group of them stopped by her parent's home to share their condolences.

Alicia's mother, Melonee Finch, says she last saw her daughter on Sunday when Alicia stopped by to check on her cats. Melonee says, "She had a big heart, lots of friends. She will be missed. We just want answers to whoever did this to her and we hope they're found."

Bill Finch, Alicia's stepfather, says his daughter was working at GNC in Auburndale and loved animals. He says she was thinking about trying to get into college to become a veterinarian. He says he last saw her on Wednesday when she stopped by to pick up her two cats. One had recently had kittens and she was trying to find a good home for them.

Melonee and Bill say they did not know where McDonald was living at the time and they do not know her roommates. Bill says they were trying to give her space so she could live her life.

10 News has a crew on the scene and we're have more details on this developing story tonight on 10 News at 11 p.m.

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