Crime 'Sweet, Giving' Teen Is Found Dead by Dumpster in Suspected Homicide, and Family Pleads for Answers The body of 16-year-old Tayanna Manuel was found on Dec. 26 in Denver By Nicole Acosta Published on December 28, 2022 05:10 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Tayanna Manuel. Photo: Denver Police Department The death of a teenage girl, whose body was found near an apartment-complex dumpster the day after Christmas, is being investigated by authorities in Colorado as a suspected homicide as her family looks for answers. The grim discovery was made the morning of Dec. 26 in Denver, Colo.'s Gateway-Green Valley Ranch neighborhood, according to a tweet from the Denver Police Department. The victim was identified by family and police as 16-year-old Tayanna Manuel. The girl's mother and sisters believe Manuel was killed in a shooting that happened three days earlier, not far from where her body was found, Fox31 reports. "One male victim" was injured in the shooting and was taken to a local hospital for treatment, Denver police tweeted on Dec. 23. Authorities did not specify the victim's identity or whether any arrests had been made. However, Manuel's family members told the outlet that the victim was the teen's boyfriend. They said they became concerned when they learned the couple had been hanging out that day, according to the outlet. "He was found, but she wasn't. So we were under the impression she was missing," Manuel's sister Nyrobi said. After the family realized Manuel hadn't come home on Christmas Eve, they reported her missing to police. But her mom, Pamela Jackson, told 9News that she felt police didn't take the investigation seriously. "My daughter was 16, and that should have been a red flag – drop everything...and help this woman find her child," Jackson told the outlet. The Denver Police Department told PEOPLE in a statement that "detectives from both the MEP (Missing, Exploited Persons) and FAST (Firearm Assault Shoot Team) units were assigned to this case when she was first reported missing." "Detectives continue to work to gather information that can lead us the individual(s) responsible for her murder as well as the shooting that occurred on Kittredge," the police statement continued. The Dock Ellis Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization that assists families with locating missing Black women and girls, also became involved in the investigation. Despite investigators working to bring Manuel home, her body was found just days later. Nyrobi remembered her sister as a "giving" and "comforting" person whose "sense of humor brightened up anyone's day," per Fox31. Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up forPEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases. A GoFundMe was also launched to help with Manuel's funeral expenses. So far, it has raised more than $4,800. No arrests have been made in the case. In an updated Twitter thread, police said they are looking for a vehicle they believe is connected to Manuel's homicide. The vehicle is described as a 2012 gray Honda CR-V with the Colorado license plate "CNE-I478" on the back and a pink and black Auto Nation dealer plate on the front. Anyone with information is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. Callers can remain anonymous and earn a cash reward.