Friend of teen murder victim: 'I don't understand why'

by: Leslie Coursey Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Friends are trying to come to terms with the murder of Mandarin High School classmate Denise Rickman.

Ronnesha Campbell is too young to deal with this kind of loss.  Her best friend, Rickman, was killed at the age of 17.

"She was my best friend. When I close my eyes I just see her. I try to be strong but it gets harder," said Campbell. 

Rickman and her mother, Judith Henry, were found dead Sunday inside their home on South Shady Pine Street.  Police haven't yet said how they were killed or who may be responsible. 

"I broke down. I couldn't believe it. It just wouldn't go through my brain," said Campbell. "I don't understand why." 

Campbell said life inside Rickman's home was good.  The friends were also teammates on Mandarin High School's track team.  She said Rickman and her mom were close. 

"They did almost everything together," she said.

No complaints about trouble at home and she was a good student -- Campbell describes her best friend as a breath of fresh air.  

"Denise is amazing. And Mandarin will never forget about her. And Mandarin will never be the same without her," said Campbell. 

Rickman would have been a senior at Mandarin High School in August. Her friends have planned a candlelight vigil for her Wednesday, July 9, at 7:30 p.m., on the track at Jeff Davis Middle School.