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Dead Teen Girl's Body May Have Been Burned in Cover-Up Bid, Sources Say

By Murray Weiss | January 17, 2013 6:56am

BROOKLYN — Detectives are investigating whether the 14-year-old Brooklyn girl whose naked body was found on Gerritsen Beach this month may have accidentally overdosed and that her panicked companions set her on fire to cover up the death, DNAinfo.com New York has learned. 

While investigators are still trying to determine what killed Shaniesha Forbes, whose body was discovered on Sun., Jan. 6, with burns to her arms, legs and hands, cops have found no evidence of foul play or violent injuries on the young teen's body, sources said.

The medical examiner has determined that the burns were not the cause of her death, sources added. Detectives theorize that Forbes' companions may have set her on fire to to make it difficult to identify the body, sources said.

Toxicological tests on Forbes will likely take a couple of weeks.

Forbes, a student at the Academy for Young Writers in East New York, was found dead with the burns near Gerritsen and Lois avenues, sources said.

Forbes was reported missing on Fri., Jan. 4, by her mother, who also told police the teen had disappeared from home numerous times, usually with older teenage boys, sources said.

Cops did not issue a public missing-persons bulletin as a result. She was last seen at 8:30 a.m. Friday before she left for school.

Friends and well-wishers took to social media to mourn Forbes.

Ashley James, who identified herself as a longtime friend of Forbes, said the two remained close even through the arguments that friends can sometimes have.

"As I think back from all the old times they bring joy to my heart, but tears to my eyes," James wrote. "Shaniesha, I love you and I hope you rest in paradise."