Mount Vernon, Maine -- A 15-year-old boy has been accused of murdering a teenage girl whose body was found inside her Maine home two weeks after her 14th birthday.

Aiden Grant, 15, of Wayne, made his first appearance in juvenile court via Zoom Monday and entered a denial, which is similar to a not guilty plea, according to WMTW-TV.

The victim, Brooke McLaughlin, was found dead by her mother inside their family home in Mount Vernon on July 18. A car belonging to the victim's family was also missing and eventually found abandoned in Wayne.

McLaughlin's death was later confirmed to be a homicide, and Grant was arrested Saturday and charged with murder, Law&Crime reported.

"McLaughlin and the juvenile did know each other," the Maine State Police wrote in a news release.

Details about how the teenage girl was murdered were not revealed. She was laid to rest Sunday.

Rick Sirois, dean of students at the Maranacook Community Middle School, where McLaughlin went, told the Portland Press Herald that the girl seemed "mature beyond her years" and "super protective" of her family.

"Brooke was just firm and confident in her beliefs," Sirois told the outlet. "She'd sometimes ask to eat lunch in my office. We'd have casual conversation about life in general, and she was always a pleasure."

Shaley Baker, who has known McLaughlin for three years, said the victim was her best friend and described her as "a bright young woman" who would often have "a smile on her face, no matter the demons she was fighting."

"She was always there for people when they needed her, and she always knew the right things to say to make people smile and laugh," Baker told the outlet. "She was goofy and fun. I know that if I was having a bad day, Brooke would be right there cheering me up."

Grant is being held at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, where he will remain until his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Sept. 14.

Prosecutors from the Office of the Attorney General asked for a diagnostic evaluation to be administered to Grant. Meg Elam, assistant attorney general for the State of Maine, said the evaluation will help determine whether the teenager should be tried as an adult.

police-2122373_1280 (6)
Representative image Credit: Pixabay / ID 4711018