Friends recall Durham teen, whose death remains mystery

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An 18-year-old student's death is surrounded by mystery.

Kind, caring and giving - that's how friends and a high school principal remember the 18 year-old Durham teen, whose death is labeled "suspicious," by the Durham Police Department.

Alondra Gonzalez Mejia was found unresponsive in her room before she was rushed to the hospital, where she died.

Read our first report here.

ABC11 asked the Durham Police Department what makes Alondra's cases suspicious, whether they have any information about what caused her to become unresponsive, or whether they suspect any foul play. The department said investigators had nothing new to release at the time.

Friends of the 18-year-old, who still don't know the cause of death, tell us the news of their friend's passing comes as a big surprise.

"She was a talented, kind, lovable person, someone you could go to and speak to if you had any problems," a friend and former classmate, Izzy Garcia, said. "And she will be truly missed. Her death was unexpected and tragic."

The teen was a volunteer at R.N. Harris Elementary School and also served as a coordinator for other volunteers from Middle College High School, the high school she attended, which is part of Durham Technical Community College.

Alex Gonzalez, no relation to Gonzalez Mejia, said he was friends with Alondra since middle school, and that she frequently made time to volunteer in her community, even though she took high school and college classes, and worked part time at a Durham Noodles & Company to help support her mother and younger twin sisters.

Her principal at Middle College High School, Dr. Charles Nolan, said Gonzalez Mejia was a leader in a volunteer group called "Students in Action," and it saddened him to think such a bright, young student's life was cut short.

"I'm sad, and it is a tragedy," Nolan said, "Whenever someone this young loses their life, especially someone with such promise. Someone who is so caring.

"I never had a student as service oriented, and as caring, and as giving, and as driven as Alondra was,"
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