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PREVIOUS COVERAGE | Murder victim ID’d as Sarasota woman

MANATEE — Manatee County Sheriff’s Office investigators identified a 22-year-old Sarasota woman Friday night whose body was found off Rye Road on Thursday afternoon.

Authorities used fingerprints and dental records to help identify Lauren Whitney Lichon in an autopsy Friday.

Lichon was staying at a room at the Day’s Inn in the 4900 block of N. Tamiami Trail, but she had recently checked out of her room, according to the front desk clerk Friday night.

Detectives said they believe Lichon was killed sometime between 1 and 2 p.m. Thursday. Her body was discovered at 2:10 p.m. just east of Rye Road in East Manatee County about 20 feet south of Rye Wilderness Trail near the entrance to the Florida Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch.

Detectives aren’t releasing the cause of Lichon’s death at this time.

A mosquito control worker found her body just after 2 p.m. about 20 feet from Rye Wilderness Trail, just off Rye Road, according to sheriff’s reports. Her body had blood on it and visible signs of trauma and her death is being treated as a homicide.

Lichon, who has a Myspace page, last logged in Wednesday.

On her profile page, she wrote, “You got enemies? Good! That means you stood up for something in your life.” The rest of her page is set to private.

Lichon’s murder marks the fifth in Manatee County this year.

On Jan. 5, Deborah Williams was arrested on murder charges after she allegedly stabbed and killed her ex-boyfriend, Joseph Scott.

On Jan. 17, Cynthia Monson was arrested on a murder charge after she allegedly shot her ex-girlfriend, Patricia Thomas.

On Jan. 29, deputies arrested Carlos Viera after he stabbed 37-year-old William Howery in a fight while Howery was holding a 1-year-old boy.

On Feb. 1, Maria Lerma was shot and killed in a botched home invasion robbery Bradenton. Palmetto teens Ta Heem Blake and Marquis Sanders are charged with her murder.

Lichon’s case marks the first homicide case this year without an immediate arrest. Authorities are still developing suspects.

Anyone with information about Lichon’s killing or anyone who observed something suspicious in the area she was found can call the sheriff’s office at 747-3011, or Crimestoppers at (866) 634-TIPS.