Partyline Proves Deadly For Local Teen-Ager

CLEVELAND – A 19-year-old girl's idea to use a partyline to meet someone turned out to be a fatal mistake, Action News' Denise Strzelczyk reported.

LaErica Patterson (pictured, right) left work on Sunday morning to get ready for a date -- a date that her family says turned out to be a date with death.

Patterson was a hard-working, determined teen with big plans for the future.

"She was a good child," the victim's mother, Jackie Barnes, said. "She was working hard, trying to get ready for college."

Those plans came to an end when Patterson's body was found in a house on East 145th Street, where the victim's family said the suspect lived with his mother. They said that Patterson's body was found stuffed in a trunk.

"Basically, she was strangled and then popped up in a chair," Patterson's uncle, Johnnie Barnes, said. "She sat there for two days. It's not right. It's not right."

Patterson's last call was made to a friend who said that she told her she was meeting someone that she had met through a "party" hotline.

"I knew she was missing when she didn't come home and didn't call nobody," Jackie said. "I knew it."

The Cleveland Police Department said that they arrested a 20-year-old man in connection with Patterson's death. The victim's family said that the suspect's mother turned him in.

"She was a young girl," Jackie said. "She was just a young girl. My heart hurts. It really hurts."