Teen girl found dead in hotel room after prom

No cause of death determined

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter , Daniel Brown - News Executive Producer

HOUSTON - Houston Police are investigating after a teenage girl's body was found inside a hotel room Saturday morning. 

Jackie Gomez, 17, was found at around 10:30 a.m. at the Hyatt North Houston, located at 425 North Sam Houston Parkway in northeast Houston.

According to police, Gomez and her prom date booked the room at the hotel, which is also where the MacArthur High School prom was held. When her date woke up on Saturday morning he found her unresponsive. 

"Right there in that moment, my heart stopped," said Briana Hernandez, recalling when she heard the news. 

Hernandez worked with Gomez at the Kroger near MacArthur High School. The two became good friends. Hernandez said as prom inched closer, Jackie couldn't contain her excitement. 

"Every day she would come to work and talk about it," Hernandez said. "She was so excited to go to prom."

Hernandez said about a week before the prom she went with Gomez to find the perfect dress.

"It was like a beige pink color, really gorgeous on her," Hernandez said.

On Friday night, Gomez sent a picture of her in the dress to Hernandez. It was one of the last photos the teen would take. It was also the last interaction Hernandez would ever have with her friend. 

"I had just texted her. I was like, 'Be careful, have a great time,'" Hernandez said.

Saturday afternoon, Hernandez heard the news that Gomez was gone.  Now all she has left are the pictures on her phone to remember a friend and co-worker who she says brightened every day. 

"Her smile," Hernandez said when asked about what she will miss most. "She always came to work with a smile."

Detectives said they do not suspect foul play. They also don't believe Gomez's date had anything to do with her death. They said they found alcohol and prescription painkillers inside the hotel room. 

An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday.

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