• FDLE investigating possible link between girl's disappearance, discovery of body

    By: Jason Kelly , Karen Parks


    MOUNT DORA, Fla. - The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it's investigating a possible link between human remains found in Volusia County and a missing teenage girl, but the agency hasn't said why.

    A group of joggers discovered the partially decomposed body along Gasline Road in DeLand on April 18.

    Meanwhile, no one has seen 16-year-old Justis Garrett since her mother dropped her off at Mount Dora High School on April 13.

    She was supposed to ride the bus home after school, but she never showed up. Her mother reported her missing the following day.

    Read: Police: Decomposing, partially clothed woman's body found on DeLand road

    Investigators said they called Garrett's cellphone, but it was turned off.

    Joanne Deihl, a family friend who has known Garrett for more than two years, said she spoke to her shortly before her disappearance.

    "I had asked her if she would babysit for me, (because) I didn't have a babysitter, and she said, 'Yeah, I could do it,'" she said. "And that was the last time I'd talk to her."

    Deihl said it's unlike Garrett to vanish.

    "I've never known her to leave anybody hanging, and I've never known her to not let her Mom know where she is," she said. "It just bothers me that nobody knows where she is. It bothers me that she's not found."

    Police describe Garrett as white and 5 feet 2 inches tall with brown hair and brown eyes. She weighs 125 pounds and was last seen wearing blue jeans, a beige jacket and black Nike sneakers.

    "If anybody knows where she is, please let somebody know," she said. "Let her Mom know, police, anybody. Let them know."

    Police said there were no incidents that would have prompted Garrett to run away.

    Next Up: