'She has so many friends and family that love her so much'

'She has so many friends and family that love her so much'
Kayla Ann Hendrickson

PORTLAND, Ore. – The family of a 16-year-old Beaverton-area girl who was shot to death and left on the side of an Oregon highway said they are still struggling to understand the tragedy of her death.

“Kayla Hendrickson was a beautiful, outgoing, and nurturing young woman,” her family said in a statement released on Tuesday. “She has so many friends and family that love her so much.”

Hendrickson was shot to death and left along Highway 6 about 18 miles east of Tillamook Friday night, police said. A person of interest in Hendrickson’s death shot and killed himself Saturday along the Northern California Coast.

Many knew Hendrickson as Kayla Blake because she used her stepfather's last name, her family said. She attended Sunset High School for a short time during the last school year, according to Beaverton School District officials. Her family said she had just received her GED last week and planned to enroll in college this spring.

“Kayla was the most girly tomboy one would have ever met. Anyone that knew her would definitely tell you she had her own unique personality. She had a free spirit, was a total country girl, and could be counted on to make you laugh and smile,” her family said. “If your mood was upside down, she could help turn it right-side up in a second.”

Her family set up a memorial fund through US Bank to help pay for funeral expenses.

A celebration of her life is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 26 at Sherwood High School. The family said it’s open to all friends and family.

“Kayla had so many aspirations in life and cherished her friends, sisters, nieces and nephews.”