The parents of a St. Johns County teenager who died suddenly this week tell First Coast News they were informed by the Health Department Thursday that their daughter had meningitis. First Coast News has been unable to independently confirm the diagnosis.

Jessie Melcolm’s mother, Kim, said she last spoke with her daughter, a 19-year-old freshman at Tallahassee Community College, Monday night. Jessie told her mom she had a sore throat and achy muscles but urged her mother not to worry.

When Kim was unable to reach Jessie Tuesday morning, she texted Jessie’s best friend to check on her. The friend found Jessie unresponsive.

Jessie’s parents said their daughter had no previous health issues and was up-to-date on her meningitis vaccines and boosters.

Kim Melcolm remembered her daughter as “the light of so many people.” There will be a celebration of life in memory of Jessie next weekend.

Jessie was a former cheerleader at Bartram Trail High School and graduated last year.

First Coast News reached out to the Florida Department of Health to confirm the meningitis diagnosis. The department referred us to the medical examiner, who referred us to the Tallahassee Police Department because Jessie’s death is an open case.

First Coast News has not yet heard back from Tallahassee Police.