Friends remember 18-year-old stabbing victim in Scranton

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Friends and family are grieving the loss of an 18-year-old mother who was killed Sunday night after a stabbing in Scranton.

Police say Kayla VanWert and another 16-year-old girl had a heated argument Sunday night on Facebook messenger and then agreed to fight in an alleyway in Scranton’s Hill Section.

An autopsy on VanWert was completed Monday afternoon.

Her death is ruled a homicide. The Lackawanna County coroner says VanWert died because of multiple stab wounds.

Friends say VanWert was strong-willed and loved sports.

VanWert was staying with another family who live just a few blocks away from the stabbing scene.

The victim leaves behind a one-year-old child.

“She was like a sister to me,” friend Sky Yoh said.

Friends are in shock.

They can’t believe the 18-year-old mother is dead after a stabbing Sunday night in Scranton.

“She was a great mother. She loved her daughter and was always smiling whenever her daughter was here,” friend Roxanne Draper said.

Police say they found blood and parts of a broken knife in the 800-block of McKenna Court, which police believe was the stabbing scene.

That is where Kayla VanWert may have been stabbed twice just before 10:00 PM Sunday.

After being stabbed, Himani Patel’s aunt may have seen the victim being taken to nearby Regional Hospital of Scranton by people at the scene.

“My aunts were walking down the alley and they saw a guy carrying a girl running this way and they got scared so they just turned back so they didn’t see anything else but later they found a pool of blood in the alley,” Patel said.

Police have charged 16-year-old Cathleen Boyer in connection with the case.

Investigators say the two teen girls may have agreed to fight in the alley after a heater argument on Facebook messenger.

After the stabbing, detectives believe Boyer posted a statement on Facebook, which started with “I’m wrong I’ll admit it and I’m gonna turn myself in.” The post ended with the words “no remorse.”

“It’s definitely a piece of the puzzle. It’ll be considered evidence. I know Scranton police have it in their possession,” Lackawanna County District Attorney Shane Scanlon said.

Friends of Kayla VanWert say the deadly dispute may have revolved around a boyfriend.

They now have so many questions aimed especially at Boyer who they didn’t know.

“I want to know why she didn’t talk it out or fist-fight it out. Why did she have to pull a knife?” Yoh asked.

Boyer is currently only facing assault and reckless endangerment charges but prosecutors say the charges could soon be upgraded to criminal homicide.

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