John Freeman, 16, was arrested and charged as an adult for the murder of 5-year-old Isabella Tennant. John Freeman was the last known person to see the little girl from New York. Tennant’s body was found just two streets away from her great-grandmother’s home stuffed inside a garbage can. Isabella Tennant was staying at her great-grandmother’s home while her mother worked a shift at Players night club in Niagara Falls, according to the Daily Mail.
Isabella Tennant was playing with John Freeman inside the home when the great-grandmother, Sharon Lascelle, went to bed around 11 pm. Freeman was reportedly a close family friend. It was reportedly not uncommon for John Freeman to be in the home with Isabella Tennant unsupervised, according to NBC News.
The family of Isabella Tennant notified police officers that the little girl was missing on Monday morning; she had been missing for 12 hours. Tyler Best, 18, told police officers that his friend John Freeman had murdered killed Isabella Tennant and led them to the body, which Best had helped hide in a garbage can. Best was charged with tampering with evidence in the Isabella Tennant murder case.
Police officers noted it does not appear any type of weapon was used in Isabella Tennant’s murder, indicating John Freeman killed the girl with his bare hands. Police Chief William Thompson also reported there were no signs to indicate Isabella Tennant was sexually assaulted, according to the Daily Mail. Chief Thompson called the murder of the young girl a “terrible crime” that “tears at your heart.”
Neighbors of Isabella Tennant’s great-grandmother searched the area late into the evening hours for the little girl who was last seen wearing pink pajamas. An autopsy of Isabella Tennant’s body has been scheduled. John Freeman and Tyler Best are expected to be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon.