Police search for 2 runaway teens after friend’s murder

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SAN DIEGO -- San Diego police released the picture of a second missing teenager Wednesday and renewed their call for information leading to who killed a 14-year-old girl whose body was found behind a Grant Hill apartment last week.

Anna Hernandez, Nelly Espinosa1
Anna Hernandez, Nelly Espinosa (SDPD)

Anna Hernandez was found dead in an open area off the 2900 block of Market Street shortly before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to San Diego police. The cause of death was not immediately apparent, but an autopsy determined that she died from at least one gunshot wound to her upper body, Lt. Mike Hastings said.

Authorities have not announced any arrests in the case or released suspect information.

The teen had gone missing five days before her body was found. One of her friends, 12-year-old Nelly Espinoza, ran away the same day.  It was unclear if the two left their respective homes together.

"We received information Nelly called a family member and said she was fine and if anyone tried to look for her she would flee deeper into Mexico," said Lt. Mike Hastings, San Diego Police homicide unit. "As part of our investigation, we will determine whether there is correlation between Nelly running away and Anna’s death."

Janeth Mendoza
Janeth Mendoza (SDPD)

Police also released a picture of 16-year-old Janeth Mendoza, another teen who was reported missing since October 28.  She was last seen near the 3000 block of Webster Street.  Mendoza is 5-feet, 5-inches tall, 160 pounds, has black hair and brown eyes. Police said she has a Charger bolt tattoo on her neck and "Bella" on her right forearm and "Perla" on her left.

Police asked anyone with information on Espinoza's or Mendoza's whereabouts to call Officer Jose Mendoza at 619-744-9518.

Grieving relatives and friends of the slain teenager held a vigil in her memory Tuesday night at a church a few blocks from the canyon where her body was discovered, wrapped in a blanket.

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