Teen arrested after body of missing California girl found

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 28, 2015 2:48 PM

San Francisco (Reuters) - Authorities have arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with the death of an 8-year-old girl missing since Sunday whose body was discovered in a recycling bin at a residential complex in Santa Cruz, California, police said.

The girl, Madyson Middleton, was last seen on Sunday evening riding a scooter at the Tannery Arts Center, which offers affordable housing to artists, Santa Cruz police said.

"This has just been a horrific, horrific experience," Santa Cruz police chief Kevin Vogel told reporters on Tuesday. "My staff was so hopeful that we were going to find her alive."

Middleton knew the 15-year-old boy who lured her to his apartment and killed her, Vogel said. The teen, who acted alone, concealed her body inside a recycling bin downstairs, Vogel said.

The boy was arrested near the bin where Middleton's body was found on Monday night, Vogel said, and the teen was questioned into the early morning hours of Tuesday.

Local television station KSBW showed video of the teenager being led away in handcuffs.

Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell told reporters his office was weighing whether to charge the teen, whose name has not been released, as an adult.

Local, state and FBI agents helped by law enforcement dogs searched for Middleton in Santa Cruz, an oceanside community about 60 miles (97 km) south of San Francisco, and local residents also canvassed the area where she was last seen.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles and Curtis Skinner and San Francisco; Editing by Will Dunham and Sandra Maler)