Mother seeks answers, shares sobering reminder after teen's death

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - City police ask for help in figuring out how a teenager died outside an apartment complex. The body of Camille Crews, 19, was found Sunday morning, and police call her death suspicious. As her mother grieves and waits for police to find answers, she also has a message for other young people.

"She was warm and she was adventurous, and she always looked for the fun things in life. She loved to giggle. And she was very sweet. And she had an ability to be empathetic and understand where other people came from," says Serena Latham, Camille Crews' mother.

Latham is trying to understand what happened leading up to Camille's death.

"If there was any information regarding it, if maybe anything that she wasn't aware of being given to her, her exact whereabouts -- somehow she had to get where she was," Latham said.

Someone called police at about 6:45 Sunday morning. Camille's body was found, only partially clothed, lying in the grass outside the Town and Campus Apartments on East Page Street. Police are investigating what caused her death.

"It was too early for her to go, and she was unable to reach what she could have become in life," Latham said.

Her mother says Camille graduated from Willard High School last year, and was taking a year off before college, where she wanted to focus on working with children.

"A child didn't even have to know her, and they would go to her and just feel comfortable with her," Latham said.

As she mourns the loss of her own child, Latham hopes her family's pain will serve as a sober reminder to other young people.

"If people can see potentially what happens, it might change their decisions in using drugs or alcohol or not being more cautious about the people they meet," Latham said. "I would like for the other young people to know that there is a real possibility of this happening to them very easily, and that life is precious, and that they're not indestructible."

Detectives ask anyone with information on Camille Crews' death to call Springfield Police at (417) 864-1810 or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at (417) 869-TIPS.