Officials confirmed Saturday afternoon that the body of a young girl stuffed in a trash bin near a Moose Lodge in east Lakeland Friday was in fact Kimberly Ann Waters, an 11-year-old reported missing earlier that day.
Waters, who lived with her sister, Crystal Waters, 13, and her mother, Beverly Schultz, was reported missing about 6 a.m. Friday when her mother came home from work and discovered her daughter wasn't in her bed.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office has 10 deputies and 10 detectives working around the clock trying to find out who killed the girl and dumped her in the trash bin less than one-half mile from her house, Maj. Grady Judd said.
"We've been interviewing friends, family and schoolteachers all morning," said Judd, who believes whoever killed Kimberly lives in the community. "We've got no hard suspects right now, but we've got a lot of possible suspects."
Judd asked residents with any information that could help detectives solve the murder to come forward.
"I'm sure someone in the community is holding valuable information either because they are afraid of releasing information about someone they know or because they think the information is not important," he said.
Judd would not release any other details concerning the murder because of the ongoing investigation.
Lisa Bauguess, a single mother who lives in the area, said she fears for her own safety and the safety of her daughter, Carissa Boyd, 3.
"It's terrifying," Bauguess said. "You don't know what to expect anymore. I had a hard time going to sleep last night knowing that whoever did this is still out there."
The last person to see Kimberly alive was her sister, who was turning the heat up in the home about 3 a.m., deputies said.
Deputies did not confirm if Kimberly left or was taken from the home. They did say, however, that she was clothed when her body was discovered by deputies Friday afternoon.
The Sheriff's Office is asking that anyone with information contact Lt. Becky Schreiber or Sgt. Harold Piper at 533-0344.