12-Year-Old-Arrested: How Will Brother Be Charged In Leila Fowler Murder Case?
A 12-year-old boy was arrested on Saturday for the murder of Leila Fowler, his 8-year-old sister.
After the April 27 attack in Valley Springs, Calif., the 12-year-old boy had told police that a tall man with long gray hair was fleeing the property when he found his sister's body. A neighbor told detectives she too saw the man, but she later went back on that story. Police searched for a muscular, 6-foot-tall white or Hispanic male, interviewed sex offenders and searched attics and sheds around the area, which is about 60 miles Southeast of Sacramento.
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Police found no signs of a break-in or burglary at the Fowler house, and some in the community began to doubt the 12-year-old's account.
"When it first happened, it was a shock-a stranger coming into a home and slaughtering a little girl," said resident Fidel Castro on Sunday. "But the story didn't make sense."
Taylor told his two children that they were safe and warned them to stay away from the 12-year-old.
With the town terrorized, Taylor grew angry at the police. "I was like, 'Come on - do you really think there's a knife-wielding stranger out there, or are you keeping our kids scared to death for no reason?'"
At a Chinese restaurant in town, waitress Fian Ngo echoed Castro's sentiments. "The story didn't make sense- a long-haired stranger, the dogs didn't bark."
On Friday, during a vigil for Leila Fowler, the 12-year-old's biological mother told television station KOVR that her son "could never hurt his sister," adding, "I've never seen him be mean to her. My son loved his sister so much."
The following day, the boy was charged with homicide.
On Sunday, Crystal Waters, the stepmother of Leila Fowler and the 12-year-old boy, posted a message on Facebook. "I don't have much to say," Waters said, "but thank you to those who are standing by us in this devastating time for our family. And thank you for respecting our privacy during this time. We need a little space. Happy mothers day to all."
Police released no information about what led them to suspect the boy.
A 2012 report said that there were 301 state inmates in California serving life sentences without parole for crimes committed as juveniles.
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