Lured by the promise of a surprise, a high school senior walked into the woods with a friend who told police he stabbed her to death because nobody liked her.
Police found Melissa Marshall's body Thursday after a caller reported seeing a man carrying a knife into the woods, accompanied by a woman.Matthew Covington, 18, was charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon - believed to be a Swiss Army knife recovered by police. He was being held without bail in the county jail.
In a police confession published by the Syracuse Herald-Journal, Covington recounted in chilling detail how he enticed Melissa into the wooded area near Cortland High School, where both were set to graduate on June 22.
Covington told her to keep her eyes closed because he had something to give her, according to his statement to police.
He said he killed the girl he dated at least once "because no one liked her, and I did not like her," the paper said.
Afterward, Covington said, he walked back to school, met several of his friends and changed from his blood-splattered clothes into another shirt and pair of pants before heading to Cortland Nursing Home, where he worked.
He was arrested less than an hour later. District Attorney Richard Shay said a grand jury will consider whether Covington should be charged with first-degree murder, which carries the death penalty.
Melissa was described as shy outside her own circle of friends.
"She was a nice girl," said sophomore Chris Magee. "She did not deserve to die at all."