Family of young woman found dead in motel room devastated and shocked

GULFPORT, Florida -- Family members of a young woman found dead in a motel room describe her as "kind hearted" and a "caring." Destynee Burkes' body was discovered at a Lealman motel. Authorities believe foul play was involved.

"It's hard, you know. I don't understand.I just need to know what happened," said Destynee's grandmother, Fannie Burkes.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, motel staff found Destynee dead Monday in a room at the La Quinta Inn, near the intersection of 34th Street North and 49th Avenue. Authorities are not giving details on her death, but Destynee's father, Tyrone Burkes, said he was told there was some type of struggle.

Family members said Destynee attended Boca Ciega High School and worked as a home health care aide. Loved ones told 10 News she was planning to go back to school for nursing and was not a troublemaker.

"[She was] outgoing. Very,very well-spoken. She always wanted to take care of somebody else. She would give you her shirt off her back. She was a good girl. She was a daddy's girl, I can tell you that," said her father.

"When you lose somebody with that type of character, it just throws you for a loop," said Destynee's great aunt, Henrietta Hudson.

As family gathered Tuesday to grieve and comfort each other at Destynee's Gulfport home, they alsosought justice. "We want whoever it was to be prosecuted to the fullest extent. 'Cause they took away a kind, caring individual way too soon," said Hudson.

According to investigators, they are following up on several leads from information provided by witnesses.


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