AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The mother of a missing girl who was found dead in a Mercer County landfill is trying to come to terms with her new, tragic reality.
The body of 16-year-old Gina Burger was found Wednesday at Tri-County Industries in Pine Township. The teen was reported missing Monday.
“The thought, I mean how many days did she lay in a landfill with garbage and nobody cared that’s where she ended up,” said Gina’s mother, Jacqueline Bacher. “She had a family that loved her and cared about her. She wasn’t a piece of trash to just disregard and to find her in a landfill.”
Just days earlier, Gina left their Compass West apartment in Austintown to borrow tea bags from a neighbor. She never came home.
Bacher said she waited up all night and then saw that Gina’s shoes were still in the apartment. That’s when she knew something was terribly wrong and Gina didn’t just run away. Bacher thinks someone took her daughter.
“She was such a sweet, caring, trusting girl. Just a sweet girl with a good heart,” said Bacher.
The Mercer County Coroner said the teen was stabbed multiple times.
Bacher said more than anything else she wants to know exactly what happened to her daughter and why.
“There are consequences for this. You don’t just disregard somebody’s life and throw them in the trash bin and that is it, and you can live your life like nothing went on. We are certainly not living our life like nothing went on,” she said.
Pennsylvania State Police are leading the investigation into exactly what happened. Austintown police will be working with them.
Austintown Police Chief Robert Gavalier said tragedies like this are always difficult to handle.
“You don’t get used to it, but you expect it,” said Gavalier.