04/25/2014 12:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Student Maren Sanchez May Have Been Fatally Stabbed For Rejecting Prom Proposal

A 16-year-old Connecticut girl was fatally stabbed Friday morning in her high school stairwell, and students say she was killed simply because she rejected a prom proposal.

Maren Sanchez, a junior at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, Conn., was pronounced dead a short time after the 7 a.m. stabbing, police told Fox News. A 16-year-old male suspect is in custody.

The suspect is not being named because he is a minor.

Students at the school told local media -- including ABC News -- that the stabbing was a result of Sanchez declining to go to prom with the suspect. At a press conference, Milford Police Chief Keith Mello said he heard the rumor but could not confirm if that was the motive. The high school prom was scheduled for later that night, but has been postponed to a later, undetermined date.

A junior high school student told Fox News that Sanchez had a boyfriend, so she said no to the date. That's when the suspect began to strangle Sanchez before pushing her down a flight of stairs and stabbing her to death, according to reports.

"There was blood on her neck. It was awful," 16-year-old Sam Garcia, a junior at the school, told Reuters. "I saw the girl lying on the stretcher when they took her out."

Two male teachers acted quickly to subdue the attacker. Despite efforts by faculty and emergency responders to save her life, Sanchez died at Bridgeport Hospital.

Sanchez was an honor student, a swim team manager, and involved in multiple community service programs.