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30th May 2023

Woman, 26, found dead in her home as police find 10-month-old baby crying

Charlie Herbert

The baby was unharmed and is being cared for by family

A 26-year-old teacher has been found dead, with police alerted to the scene by her 10-month-old daughter’s crying.

Amanda Hicks was found dead at the Peacock Run apartment complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida on Saturday, next to a man who she was believed to in a relationship with.

Police suspect she was the victim of a suspected murder-suicide. They said they believed the man, whose name has not yet been released by authorities, killed Hicks before taking his own life.

Police have not said how the two people died.

Hicks’ death was confirmed by the principal at Anderson Middle School in Florida, where she was a sixth-grade teacher.

A neighbour told CBS 12 News that Hicks had given birth to her daughter Alani in July last year, and the mother and daughter had moved into the apartment three weeks ago.

A yearbook photograph of Amanda Hicks, who was a teacher at Anderson Middle School (Martin County School District)

The neighbour, who remained anonymous, said: “They seemed very normal, very normal.

“We didn’t even get time to even get to know them because everything happened so fast.

“My hearts out for the family, though. Hopefully, they find peace in all of this.”

It was the man’s family who called police at 11:45am to request a welfare check. When officers arrived at the apartment, the door was locked but they could hear 10-month-old Alani crying.

When officers went round to the back of the property, they saw two bodies on the floor through a rear sliding door.

Alani was unharmed, and is with a family member, WPTV reports.

The deaths happened the day after Anderson Middle School had broken up for the summer.

The school’s principal, Darcia Borel, sent an email to staff informing them of Hicks’ death and offering counselling to anyone who wanted it.

She wrote: “While words will never be enough to convey the shock and sadness this news has brought to our school family, it is more important than ever to come together to support one another through our grief journey.

“Additional information about memorials and opportunities for supporting Amanda’s beautiful little girl will be forthcoming.

“Please remember to hug your loved ones a little tighter and keep Amanda’s family in your thoughts and hearts.”

In a post on social media, Hicks’ brother Eric paid tribute to her.

“Y’all plz help us raise money for my sisters funeral and service and everything,” he wrote. 

Hicks and her brother Eric (Facebook)

Hicks’ friend of five years, Raquel Magallon, told WBPF that she was “an angel” who “lit up the room.”

She said: “She had such a big, beautiful smile. She was always happy and always energetic.

“She was just an angel. She definitely brightened my day every time I saw her.”

Childhood friend Maria Uphues paid tribute to Hicks on Facebook, writing: “Even though the plan was to grow old and reminiscence about all the highs and lows we’ve experienced, I am so grateful to have had you in my life for these past 19 years.

“You were absolutely gorgeous inside and out and this world will never be the same without you… Your creativity was pure art.”

She said she couldn’t “express my gratefulness for Alani being found unharmed but nothing can ever fully replace having her parents by her side.”

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