Authorities: California teen accused of killing 8-year-old

29 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Authorities: California teen accused of killing 8-year-old.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. SANTA CRUZ -A teenage boy lured an 8-year-old girl into his apartment and killed her before hiding her body in a recycling bin at the housing complex where they lived, authorities said Tuesday.Friends and family members scoured the artist community where she was last seen on Sunday afternoon, when she vanished while pushing her brand new scooter in a purple dress and black bicycle helmet. “This is extraordinarily heartbreaking news I’m about to give to you,” said Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel during a late-night news conference. “This evening at approximately 7:55 p.m. … our detectives discovered the body of a young female inside of a dumpster at the complex located behind me.” That’s because the person taken into custody for questioning in the still mysterious child slaying is a 15-year-old boy — a 15-year-old boy who lived in the same complex as Maddy. “We have arrested and taken into custody a 15-year-old male who was on the property at the time of the discovery,” Vogel told reporters. Federal and local law enforcement searched the area surrounding the complex Sunday night and throughout Monday before finding the girl’s body that night. The Associated Press reported that the teen was arrested on suspicion of murder. “We all had this idea that she had been taken from the site,” neighbor Jeannie Cartabiano told The Washington Post in a phone interview late Monday night. “That’s what’s so shocking,” she said. “To find out that” that it might be “one of our own is shocking.

The boy, whose name is not being released because he is a juvenile, was nearby when the body was discovered, and officers found evidence in the apartment that links him to the slaying, the police chief said. Santa Cruz, with a population of 62,000, is perhaps best known for its boardwalk and liberal politics, and it’s not unusual to see unaccompanied children out and about.

Sunday riding her scooter near the bin where a detective found her body. “It’s my belief she was killed before we ever got the phone call” an hour later that she was missing, Vogel said at a news conference. Visitors stopped at a walkway memorial to pay respects with candles, bouquets of flowers and stuffed animals. “My staff was so hopeful we were going to find her alive.

But something had broken with the discovery of Maddy’s body and the boy’s arrest. “Quite frankly, I think this is going to pose lots of questions about our community internally,” she said. “You can’t look at this without asking: How could this happen?” The community in question is the Tannery Arts Center, a gleaming new $55 million mixed-use complex that seemed like the last place something like this would happen. He described them as acquaintances. “Our hearts and our thoughts and our prayers go out to those close to Madyson who have been devastated by the loss of this very precious life,” he said at the news conference outside police headquarters.

Surrounded by other industrial and commercial buildings, some of them similarly abandoned, the old Salz factory became a public eyesore. “If you walked around the site a couple of years ago, on the spot of the defunct Salz Tannery on the Highway 9 side of River Street, you would have sworn you were looking at a relic of a forgotten Nevada mining town,” the Santa Cruz Sentinel wrote. “The place was fenced up, but it was so dilapidated and scary-looking that a ‘Keep Out’ sign hardly seemed necessary.” In 2004, however, the Santa Cruz Redevelopment Agency approved a plan to turn the 150-year-old factory into a mix of artists’ lofts and affordable housing for artists and their families. The agency provided $1.9 million, with the vast majority of the project coming from state or federal housing grants and Artspace, the Seattle nonprofit that built the project. Middleton’s father, Michael, spent much of Monday searching the streets with friends. “Our hearts our broken and our deepest sympathy to the family of Madyson Middleton,” the California Highway Patrol’s Santa Cruz office tweeted. “We are grieving with the entire Santa Cruz community.” Jordan told the Sentinel on Monday that her daughter was waiting for a friend to finish a board game so they could play together, and rode her scooter under her friend’s window.

It was the last time she was seen alive. “I thought she was in the courtyard,” Jordan said. “I thought she was in the bathroom, checked the art bar, then I started to going to every friend’s house. Developers billed the TAC as a “first-in-the-nation art community that provides a sustainable, accessible and vibrant home for the arts in Santa Cruz County.” Privately, however, Tannery residents complained that the city wasn’t doing enough to protect the arts campus, which still sat in a questionable neighborhood. “It’s a lot of hard work,” said Cartabiano. “We’re a place of transformation.

It’s getting better bit by bit, but it’s still there.” And so it was that when Maddy Middleton went missing on Sunday, the search quickly escalated from the Tannery to the surrounding neighborhood and then to all of Santa Cruz. “Are we still going to allow all the drifters and fugitives to sleep and live long term here?” asked one man in the comments section of an article about Maddy’s disappearance. “Are we going to continue to allow them to camp by the river, in view of the Tannery, further jeopardizing public safety? All of us if you ask us what you think of him we’d tell you he’s an outstanding kid,” she said. “He was always in there to help with environmental cleanup. So it’s a very unfortunate circumstance, to say the least.” Police haven’t said how Maddy died or what motive the 15-year-old suspect might have had.

And it feels just like it did that night.” “We are confounded why they wouldn’t go to their parents or go to the office,” she said of the suspect or suspects. “There are so many of us here to support them.”

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