Wynne Jr. High Mourns Death of Fellow Student

January 26, 2004 -- Posted at 5:15 p.m. CST

WYNNE--Cross County investigators are waiting on the autopsy results of a 15-year-old girl found murdered over the weekend.  Whitney Hinton's body was found Saturday after a massive search.

Meanwhile her loss is being felt at her school where classmates are mourning her death. 

Police still aren't releasing any information about the death of the Wynne Jr. High student.

Officials at the Cross County Sheriff's office would not comment on camera, but did say they had been working around the clock on this mysterious murder.

Whitney's principal remembers her as a person who always stood out in the crowd.

Principal Darrell Mills said, "She was bright, always had a big smile, she was one of those that when you saw her you recognized that she was there."

Students at the Wynne Jr. High were in shock as they learned of Whitney's death.

"Our students, of course, found out about it over the weekend and we knew that once we arrived at school this morning those kids, or some of those kids would be devastated, be frightened, be concerned and would be scared...of course they've been mourning also," said Principal Mills.

Mills said the students and facility at the Jr. High are like a family, and to loose one of their own is hard to accept.

"We feel like the kids spend more time sometimes at school than they do at home, so we become more like a family unity," said Principal Mills, "we try to function in a way such a manner that if the child has a need that if we can't supply then we try to find someone to help us with whatever that problem might be."

Dealing with the death of someone so young is always hard, but especially so for children.  The Wynne School District made sure that no child would have to mourn her death alone.

"Our counselors were alerted and they were prepared to deal with any of the students that felt they had a need to discuss what had occurred or the outcome of what was going to take place, and we notified the counselors from the other buildings in the district and we might need to call upon them," said Principal Mills.

It was confirmed today that Whitney's body had been sent to the Little Rock Medical Examiner's office.

Family members would not speak with us Monday on camera, but they did say they had seen and identified Whitney's body and were busy planning her funeral, which will be held on Saturday.