NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Newport News Police are investigating the homicide of 17-year-old Asia Cowell of Norfolk — who was reported missing earlier this month.
Her body was located near the wood line off Warwick Blvd. on Sept. 23, police said.
Her family is now tasked with planning a funeral and praying answers come as to why their “young angel was taken too soon.”
“She was my niece. Yea, I took care of her, but just as much as I took care of her — she had the mindset to take care of me. She was my little best friend,” said Asia’s aunt Tatina Cowell.
Tatina Cowell said coming to terms with losing her little best friend has been the hardest part.
“Sometimes, I’m feeling numb. Sometimes, it’s disbelief, you know? Like I’m in a dream,” she said.
Cowell was last seen in Norfolk on Sept. 7, but when she went missing Tatina never imagined this would be the outcome.
“Yea, it’s closure in the fact that she is found. But it hurts, and so now it’s like, the next step is that we need justice for her,” she said.
Friday night at a vigil for Asia, close friends, family, and community members gathered to remember her.
Tatina said she felt the love, but her thoughts are still plagued with sadness.
“I hate imagining her afraid. It’s hard because she was so happy, joyful, and goofy and just made everybody laugh,” she said.
Now, it’s about trying to find peace to move forward.
But a report from the Newport News Police Department came out about a potential scam for money under Asia’s name — which has added more stress.
Tatina wants to set the record straight.
“’Asia Cowell Legacy Fund‘ that is the GoFundMe that people should donate to. Anything else that is not the ‘Asia Cowell Legacy Fund’ is a scam,” she explained.
This will allow her and her family to focus on what’s important, finding justice.
“How dare somebody take that greatness out of this world; it’s not okay,” said Tatina.
Tatina says the Newport News and Norfolk Police department have been great to their family and they are very encouraged they will find justice. But she asks if you know anything that could help, to call the police.
** Correction: A previous version of this article stated that Asia’s body was found on Friday, Sept. 25. That is the day Newport News announced that her body had been located.