A 12-year-old boy was arrested in connection with the stabbing death of his eight-year-old sister. The girl, Leila Fowler, was stabbed to death at her home in California last month.
Calaberas County Sheriff Gary Kuntz told reporters that Fowler’s brother was taken into custody following a two-week investigation. The boy initially told investigators that an intruder killed his sister.
Now, the unnamed boy will face a homicide charge. Leila and her brother were home alone on April 27 in Valley Springs, California, when she was killed.
Their parents were at a Little League game in the small town when the attack happened. At first, officials stated that Fowler’s brother told them he found her body. He described her killer as a tall man with long, gray hair. Authorities conducted a search of the home and neighborhood, while dive teams searched two reservoirs near the family’s home.
A neighbor also reported seeing a man running from the home, though the witness was later discredited. Investigators added there was no sign of a burglary or robbery in the home. Leila Fowler’s death and her brother’s account left the small community on edge. Parent James Barci stated, “Nobody is staying alone.”
The 12-year-old boy was taken into custody for his sister’s death at 5:10 pm local time at a county sheriff’s office substation in Balley Springs. Kuntz added, “Citizens of Calvares County can sleep a little better tonight.”
Before the arrest, police offered the sketchy description of the intruder given to them by Leila Fowler’s brother. They also interviewed registered sex offenders in the area, ran down several leads, and searched though nearby attics and storage sheds. Kurtz added that law enforcement officers “put over 2000 hours into this investigation to provide Leila Fowler’s family with answers in her death.”
It is not clear what led them to the eight-year-old girl’s brother. Kuntz did not say the exact charges against Fowler’s brother, where he is being held, or when he will appear in court.
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