MCLEAN, Va. (WJLA) - Prior to returning to class at McLean High School, students gathered to grieve. Police had received a tip about where they might find 16-year-old Emylee Lonczak, who was reported missing on Wednesday.
They finally located her body between two houses in a Vienna neighborhood on Friday.
"Somebody told me Emylee Lonczak died and I thought that they were kidding," said Mclean High School junior, Thomas Richards." I thought it was some strange joke -- I couldn't really believe it."
Lonczak would have been a junior this year, and word spread quickly at the high school after she went missing and her body was discovered.
"I was more in disbelief and then people started posting and I was just in shock... It was really shocking," said Michelle Ma, a sophomore.
Police are not saying much - nothing about the cause of death, and they do not consider there to be any threats to the public and are not currently looking for suspects. But they are conducting a criminal investigation, likely trying to determine if anyone contributed to Lonczak's death.
Lonczak was reportedly well-liked at school and a good student.
"She would act like she didn't know what was going on and then she would get her tests and quizzes back and they would be A's," said Richards.
As the school year is about to begin, students at the high school say this time of year which is usually somewhat festive, is now filled with sadness.
"Everyone is just completely devastated -- even people that really didn't know her are feeling the effects of it," said Heather Pincus, a junior.