ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — While families all over were celebrating Mother’s Day, a search was underway for a missing St. Johns County teen, Tristyn Bailey.
Tristyn Bailey case: 14-year-old boy facing murder charge after St. Johns County girl found dead
The 13-year-old was last seen alive by her family around midnight, Sunday, May 9.
Deputies said Tristyn was seen around 1:15 a.m. Sunday at the Durbin Amenity Center located on North Durbin Parkway in St. Johns County.
After an hours-long search by the sheriff’s office and the community, SJSO said at 6 p.m., a body, later confirmed to be Tristyn’s, was found in the immediate area.
Here’s what we know so far about the teen:
Tristyn was a 7th grade student at Patriot Oaks Academy, a K-8 school located on Longleaf Pine Parkway in the Durbin area.
The school sent the following message to parents following Tristyn’s death:
This has been a difficult day for all of us at Patriot Oaks. One of our 7th grade students has died and our hearts are broken. We want to express our appreciation for the support you showed today and will continue to show the Bailey family as we are faced with this time of intense difficulty.
To help students and staff manage emotions and process through grief, we will have our district crisis team with multiple school counselors on hand at school tomorrow. Students and staff will react in different ways to a death, so it will be important to have support available to help any who are in need.
If you feel your child needs assistance or is having a great deal of difficulty coping with this tragedy, please do not hesitate to call the school and let us know. We will do all within our power to help and comfort all in our Charger family. While it is important to deal with grief, loss, anger, and fear reactions, we believe it is essential to resume as normal a routine as possible regarding school activities. With that being said, some of our families may need time to process this loss together and we understand. Please know that we are here to help.
Thank you for your support of our school as we work together to cope with the loss of our sweet Tristyn. Please observe your child closely over the next several days and weeks to watch for signs of distress, which may indicate a need for additional support and guidance. Please feel free to call if you have any concerns or questions regarding your child, or the steps being taken by the school to address this loss. We are here to help.
The following websites give more information and tips for parents.
The 13-year-old was an athlete.
When she was reported missing, deputies said she was last seen wearing a white cheerleading skirt and a dark colored shirt.
With her mother’s permission, Action News Jax spoke with a friend of Tristyn’s off-camera. Her and Tristyn practiced cheer in the same gym.
Tristyn was described as a kind person and a strong athlete.
INIFNITY ALLSTARS, an All Star cheerleading program in Jacksonville Beach, took to social media following Tristyn’s death:
“It is with our deepest sorrow that we inform you of the passing of our beloved athlete and friend, Tristyn Bailey. We ask for our Infinity family to pray for comfort, strength and understanding for Tristyn’s family and all of the athletes from our gym. This is just absolutely devastating for everyone who knew and loved her. We will be sending out further communication soon of how we can assist the Bailey family during this very difficult time.”
One day after her death was announced, three vigils were to be held in her honor.
Three vigils were set to be held Monday night for Tristyn.
Her fellow cheerleaders, the Infinity Allstars, are holding a a prayer circle at 7 p.m. for athletes and parents.
The Bartram Bears will hold a candlelight vigil and prayer after cheer camp at 8 p.m. on the Rivertown Fields.
Also, family, friends and community members will gather after sunset, around 8:30 p.m., at the South Durbin Crossing Amenity Center, where she was last seen alive.
Fellow students and community groups planned to wear white to honor Tristyn.
At their Monday vigil after their practice, the Bartram Bears said they would wear white in Tristyn’s honor.
Soccer players with Florida Elite Soccer Academy were asked to wear their white jerseys to training on Monday night in honor of Tristyn.
Also, some students at her school, Patriot Oaks Academy, wore white on Monday for Tristyn.
Neighbors in Durbin Crossing were putting up teal ribbons in Tristyn’s memory.
Tristyn was last seen alive in Durbin Crossing and neighbors were putting teal ribbons on their mailbox and trees to honor her.
It was her favorite color.
A memorial fund was set up for Tristyn’s family.
A GoFundMe page, called “Tristyn Bailey Memorial Fund,” was set up for her family.
A statement on the page says, “Her family has in no way asked for anything, but so many have reached out wanting to help. Thank you in advance for all of your prayers and support.”
Cox Media Group