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Vigil planned for slain high school students

Bianca Prieto, The Orlando Sentinel, Fla. –

A candlelight vigil for slain Winter Park High School students Nicholas ‘Nic’ Presha and Jeremy Stewart will be held this evening on the Cady Way Trail near where their bodies were found this weekend.

The teens were missing for about a day before bicyclists found their smoldering remains on the banks of a canal on the popular jogging and biking trail.

The vigil will be from 7 to 10 p.m. near a wooden bridge on the Cady Way Trail between Forsyth and Goldenrod roads, about a block south of Aloma Avenue.

The teens’ killer has not been caught.

The school canceled the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test because of the slayings.

Orange County investigators have released few details in the double murder case, and have not yet said if a motive or a suspect has been identified.

“Investigators continue to follow-up on information they have received in response to these killings, but we cannot discuss what those are,’ Capt. Angelo Nieves said in an email to the Orlando Sentinel this morning. “We are still seeking information from anyone who may have seen the teens together late Saturday night or during the early hours on Sunday morning.”

Detectives said the killings are related to a fire at a large portable storage unit at Sun Bay apartments, a short distance away on Aloma Avenue. They haven’t said how. Nor have they revealed how 16-year-old Nic and 18-year-old Stewart died.

Residents who live in the apartment complex reported hearing gunshots around 2 a.m. Sunday, then later saw the charred spot on the metal storage unit.

Nic is a son of retired Orange County sheriff’s Capt. Bernie Presha, who is now a detective for the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office.

The State Attorney’s Office is providing the family with the services of a victim counselor and a chaplain.

Friends of the teens said the two were inseparable and outgoing.

Police records show Nic and Stewart were arrested in Winter Park on Jan. 10 on charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest without violence. Both were charged as juveniles.

A Winter Park police report shows that the teens stole a neighbor’s lime-green convertible Mini Cooper, which the owner said he thought he left unlocked with the keys inside. The car crashed into the side of a 7-Eleven on Howell Branch Road with Nic at the wheel, the report states. Both teens ran and were chased and bitten by a police dog, the report states.

The students entered a Teen Court program, a form of pretrial diversion that allows minors to avoid prosecution if they stay out of trouble, the State Attorney’s Office said.

A memorial fund has been set up for the teens at United Legacy Bank, 425 S. U.S. Highway 17-92, Longwood, FL 32720. Those wishing to make a donation should identify the account as The “Nicholas Presha and Jeremy Stewart Memorial Fund.”

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