FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — The sister of a 17-year-old girl whose body was found in a wooded area near a walking trail in Frederick over the weekend has identified her as Ty’kerria Dawson from Hagerstown.

Deputies with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office said a passerby notified them of the body around 5 p.m. Saturday in the area located behind Briargrove Court. The body had apparent injuries, leading police to open a homicide investigation into the case.

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Isabelle Weissend told WJZ she found Dawson’s body along the trail.

Ty’kerria Dawson. Photo provided.

“When I saw her, I screamed and she didn’t even flinch. She wasn’t moving or anything,” Weissend recalled.

She showed WJZ where she came upon Dawson’s body.

“My eyes just went to her face first,” she said.

Weissend and her mother left red roses and a Happy Birthday balloon at the scene Sunday, which would have been Dawson’s 18th birthday. She recently graduated from Antietam Academy in Hagerstown.

The trail where Dawson’s body was found runs along a stream near several homes. Nearby resident Linda Blum said the area is normally very quiet.

“Kids often play in there… we hear kids all the time,” she said, adding her own kids used the trail to walk to and from school for years.

Dawson’s body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore for an autopsy.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help cover Dawson’s funeral expenses.

“Tootie was highly favored always smiling if you knew her you had no choice but to love her,” the page reads.

Meanwhile, Weissend said the image of Dawson’s body will stick with her.

“That image is never going to go away from my mind. She is kind of part of me now, and I just pray that she is resting in peace and that she gets the justice that she deserves,” Weissend said.

The investigation into the girl’s death remains ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Detective Skelley at 301-600-4017. Tips can also be left anonymously on the sheriff’s office tip line at 301-600-4131.

Annie Rose Ramos

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