The family of a Dorsey High School cheerleader killed in a baffling slaying over the weekend made an emotional plea Monday for help in finding Anitra Jolie Watson's killer.
"Please, anyone who knows anything . . . ," sobbed Denise Cato, the 17-year-old senior's aunt. "We need to know why our baby was killed the way she was."
Family and friends described Watson, who had been president of her ninth-grade class at Bancroft Junior High School, as a popular and vivacious teen-ager who loved dancing and music.
The girl's body was found Saturday morning in an unoccupied duplex in the Inglewood area. She had been shot several times, execution-style, about 10 p.m. the night before, said Lt. Sergio Robleto of the Los Angeles Police Department.
She had called her Hancock Park-area home earlier Friday night to tell her mother she was leaving the Dorsey football game with friends, police said. She was seen in her white Nissan Pulsar following three men in a dark Buick Regal after the game, Robleto said.
Investigators believe Watson was at the duplex about 9:30 p.m. Friday with a man named Antoine, Robleto said. No more is known about Antoine, and police have not been able to locate the duplex's residents, he added. Watson's car was found at the building, her cheerleading uniform in the back seat.
"It's a genuine mystery," Robleto said.
He said more than one gun was fired in the duplex Friday night because numerous bullet holes were found in the walls, but only one weapon was used to kill Watson.
"She wasn't involved in anything she deserved to be killed for," said fellow cheerleader Michelle Skinner, 16.
"She touched everyone's life," said Watson's mother, Barbara Schwab. "She was a dream !"
Fellow cheerleaders recounted how, even though she was sidelined from the squad with an ankle injury this semester, she would urge them to stay with cheerleading even when they felt like quitting.
Watson transferred to Dorsey's magnet program in mathematics and science in the spring after attending Palisades High School. Her mother said she had considered attending USC.
"She was going to be something," said Tiffany Brown, a friend and fellow cheerleader. "She wasn't going to turn into a waste with her life."
Anyone with information on Watson's death is asked to call police at (213) 237-1310.