SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) -- 17-year-old former Sherman ISD student Mikayla Mitchell was found dead in a Dallas pond back in July. Investigators said she was killed. For the first time, her mother is speaking out to News 12.
Mikayla Mitchell and Jennifer Diamond
"Mikayla was a very strong willed child from the beginning," said Mitchell's mom Jennifer Diamond.
Diamond said what struck people about her daughter was her larger than life personality.
"She was a ham," Diamond said. "She was always posing for pictures and I loved to take pictures."
A former Sherman High School student, Mitchell's mom said when she grew up, she wanted to be a counselor to help people in need.
"She had a strong love for God," Diamond said. "She touched a lot of people because of her compassion that she held inside and she was so compassionate for other people. She had a big heart."
But Diamond said something went wrong. She said her daughter started running with a bad crowd. A group involved in sex trafficking and ended up in Abilene. Diamond said when Mitchell tried to get away in July, she was kidnapped, but escaped at a convenience store in Merkel, Texas.
Police called Diamond who picked Mitchell up and brought her back home to Sherman.
Six days later, Mitchell was found dead in a Dallas pond.
"The detective said 'ma'am you're daughter is dead,' and I started screaming and screaming at the top of my lungs," Diamond said.
Investigators said she died from homicidal violence, but won't elaborate how exactly she died. They said Darnell Dwight Smith, also known as 'Slick Rick' is a suspect in her kidnapping, but only as a person of interest in her homicide.
"Just the day before that I was telling her to be careful and to not trust anyone because of what Darnell did to her," Diamond said. "I was telling her he's not going to get away with it."
So far no one has been arrested for Mitchell's murder, but Diamond said she'll fight for justice.
"She was my first child and I just loved her so much and I would do anything to get her back," Diamond said.
Tune in Thursday evening for a second part of this interview to hear how Mitchell's mom claims sex trafficking killed her daughter.
If you have information regarding Mitchell's death, contact Dallas Police Det. Steven David: 214-671-3627