A childhood friend of Stacy Hoffmaster's says she and the teen's family have spent the last 20 years "trying to live without her"

By Char Adams
Updated February 03, 2016 11:30 AM
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Credit: Frederick County Police

A man living in Kansas City, Missouri, was charged with the 1996 murder of a 15-year-old girl in Maryland, PEOPLE confirms.

Lloyd Harris, 52, was arrested on Thursday and charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape and third-degree sex offense in the death of Stacy Lynn Hoffmaster, whose body was found in December 1996, a Frederick, Maryland, police spokesperson tells PEOPLE.

“The investigation has continued since 1996 and that investigation, based on evidence, interviews, witnesses and people, have led to probable cause for his arrest,” the spokesperson says, noting that the investigation is ongoing.

Hoffmaster was reported missing on Oct. 2, 1996. Her body was found nearly three months later, on Dec 23, under a moving blanket in a wooded area of Frederick, where Harris lived at the time, a police statement said.

Police said Harris and Hoffmaster knew each other.

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A medical examiner determined that Hoffmaster had been strangled. And CBS News reports that police say Harris allegedly raped Hoffmaster before killing her and disposing of her body.

Harris is being held at the Clay County Jail in Kansas City, Missouri, as he awaits extradition to Maryland, records show.

He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, police said in the statement.

One woman, who describes herself as Hoffmaster’s childhood “best friend,” writes in a message to PEOPLE that Hoffmaster’s family is requesting privacy.

“We are pleased to see an arrest as it was a long wait. It’s just the beginning; it won’t be enough till [Harris] is sent to prison for the rest of his life,” she wrote. “He has spent the last 20 years living, we have spent them just trying to live without her. She was a beautiful soul.

She added, “The best friend everyone wanted and the best daughter and sister anyone could ever ask for. Our lives haven’t been the same. She was robbed of a future. Nobody deserves that. She is missed every day.”