Family and friends are mourning the death of a 24-year-old Washington woman whose body was found in a hotel room last week.
Makayla Young was found dead at a Rodeway Inn in North Spokane, Washington. According to the medical examiner, the 24-year-old had been stabbed multiple times. Her body was found by cleaning staff on Friday, February 28.
According to arrest affidavits obtained by KREM-TV, Young was found “nearly decapitated.”
Police arrested Anthony Fuerte, 27, and Lionel White, 32, and charged them with second-degree murder. They are being held on $1 million bond, and have each pleaded not guilty. Court records do not reflect attorneys authorized to speak on their behalf.
Authorities have not disclosed a motive in the killing.
In a statement released to local media by Young’s sister, Emily Young, her family expressed devastation at her loss.
“Makayla was a bright light in everyone’s life,” the statement reads. “She always had a smile on her face. She loved hard and was trusting of everyone.”
“Her life was taken from us,” the statement continues. “We are here left thinking, ‘Why? Why, how could this be. Not our beautiful Makayla.’ Our hearts are shattered.”
While Young’s family mourns her tragic and violent death, they say that they are choosing to focus on the good times they had with her.
“Life will never be the same without her,” the statement says. “Her silly dancing to Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day’ and her personal dancing log at our lake cabin, our fondest memories. She loved her family so much and we all lived together up until the day she left us. She was our laughter and happiness. Her love and light can not be explained in words. She loved her mom and dad immensely, and her sister and her had an unbreakable and unspeakable bond. Her brothers were her protectors and are left in shambles at the fact we couldn’t save her.”
According to the Spokesman-Review, White was seen by hotel employees allegedly putting bloody towels outside the room’s door. According to documents obtained by the newspaper, White told police that he had been at the hotel with Anthony Fuerte and his “girl.” He claimed that he did not hurt Young, and that she was alive when he left.
After Young was dead, authorities allege in court documents that Fuerte unsuccessfully tried to carjack a woman, but was scared off by bystanders. He has been charged with additional counts of first-degree robbery and carjacking, in addition to the murder charges.
Authorities tell KXLY-TV they are continuing to investigate the case.
Meanwhile, Young’s family is preparing a funeral to celebrate her life. “We will never be the same after losing you, Makayla Kristine,” the statement concludes. “Rest in peace our love.”