SCOTTSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A man was arrested Friday and charged with murder and sex crimes in the death of a 7-year-old Kentucky girl whose body was found in a creek minutes after she disappeared during a football game.
In addition to murder, Timothy Madden, 38, of Scottsville, is charged with kidnapping, first-degree rape and first-degree sodomy, Trooper B.J. Eaton said at a news conference at the Kentucky State Police post in Bowling Green.
Madden is charged in the death of Gabriella Doolin.
Madden was taken in handcuffs from the post to a squad car just before the news conference began. A reporter asked if he had anything to say, and Madden replied, "I'm innocent."
Eaton said Madden would be held in the Barren County jail. Post commander Capt. John Clark would not release any other details about Madden, citing the ongoing investigation.
The girl's father had harsh words on his Facebook page posted Friday morning.
"This animal should not be walking and breathing," Brian Doolin wrote.
At the family's white-frame home outside Scottsville, several vehicles were parked in the yard. A trampoline was set up in the backyard, a basketball goal in the front, and a cat and kittens were on the front step. A woman answering the door declined to comment and asked a reporter to leave.
Gabbi, as she was called, was reported missing about 7:40 p.m. Saturday by her mother while they were at a football game at Allen County-Scottsville High School in south-central Kentucky. Her body was found about 25 minutes later in a creek in a wooded area behind the school.
The girl was playing with other children during the game, Eaton said. The creek where her body was found was just a few hundred yards from the football field.
An autopsy conducted Sunday ruled the girl's death a homicide. State police have not released other details, including the manner of death.
Doolin's funeral was held Thursday at Scottsville Baptist Church. Members of the Scottsville community lined the streets holding pink and blue balloons to release as the hearse carrying her body drove by.
On Friday, signs were decorated with pink bows and balloons, and a sign at one business in the rural community near the Tennessee state line read, "Justice for Gabbi."