At first, October 27 started like any other day. After attending classes at Woburn Memorial High School, Melanie and her friend Carmen Gonzalez walked home. Then Melanie told her grandmother that she would be spending the night next door at the house of another friend. However, that wasn’t the only thing that the teenager had planned.
Unknown to her family, Melanie had gone to join a bunch of schoolmates for drinking in woods at the edge of Woburn. As a freshman days away from her 15th birthday, Melanie was a bit younger than the usual crowd at the party, which was a regular happening in that spot.
Using the sleepover as a cover story, Melanie met up with some friends and headed out into the woods. She found herself the youngest of the dozen people there. And as the night progressed, she became the only girl. Clearly, the attendees, though few in number, were having fun, and the party didn’t wind down until the early hours of October 28.