One day after a Tinley Park high school senior was found dead, her friends and classmates expressed sadness and shared memories about the person they adored.
Mia Maro, 17, attended Victor J. Andrew High School and was set to graduate in just a matter of weeks.
Mia was found deceased by police in the lower level of a home along West 167th Street near 80th Avenue Sunday when officers responded to a possible death investigation, a village spokesman said. Her death was ruled a homicide as a result of multiple injuries, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.
Police said Monday a person of interest was taken into custody, but haven't said it that person is facing charges or provided additional details about what led to the teenager's death.
One neighbor told NBC 5 she saw police activity at the home Sunday.
"I was scared, I didn’t know what happened," Erica Krueger said. "Just wanted to know they’re all ok."
Elyana Aldabbagh, a classmate who first met Mia in sixth grade, described her as "really sweet."
"She was one of the sweetest, kindest, smartest girls ever," Elyana said. "I genuinely thought she was going to make an impact in this world, because she was amazing. She helped me in school a lot."
Others also expressed heartbreak upon learning of their friend's death.
"We had an art class together," said Trinity Maze. "She was so creative. She put everything into the art projects. So creative. The kindest person. Always made a bad situation good. Every time I walked into class, I was excited to talk to her. Really sad this is how it ended."
A memorial consisting of flowers, balloons and a poster that reads "in loving memory of Mia Maro" was set up outside the residence where she was found dead.
Social workers and counselors will be available at Andrew High School to help any students grieving Mia's loss, according to a message from the principal to the school community.
Elyana, Mia's classmate, says she just saw her friend on Thursday.
"She was amazing," Elyana said. "We were in same class for graphic novels. She would help me out with that class too. We were just about to graduate."