- Authorities have arrested and charged a Florida teenager in connection to a 13-year-old girl’s death.
- The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said the two teens attended the same school.
- A resident reportedly found Tristyn Bailey’s body Sunday evening, hours after she was reported missing.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Florida police have arrested a teenage boy in connection to the death of a 13-year old girl whose body was found Sunday night after she was reported missing earlier that day.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 14-year-old boy on second-degree murder charges in the death of Tristyn Bailey on Monday afternoon, according to WFTS. Insider is not naming the suspect because he is underage and authorities have not decided whether to try him as an adult.
Officers told First Coast News that the two teenagers attended school together at Patriot Oaks Academy in St. Johns, a suburb of Jacksonville, but would not confirm if the two were classmates.
—SJSO (@SJSOPIO) May 9, 2021
“We have a suspect arrested and, unfortunately, a 13-year-old girl dead,” St. Johns County Sheriff Robert Hardwick said during a news conference.
Tristyn, a 7th grader on the cheerleading team, was last seen at the Durbin Amenity Center around 1:15 a.m. Sunday morning, according to local media. Her family reported her missing around 10:00 a.m. on Mother’s Day. Florida law enforcement began search efforts and issued a Florida Missing Child Alert soon after.
The Sheriff’s Office called off the search for Tristyn on Sunday evening after a resident who lived in the area reportedly found her body. She was found fully clothed in a wooded area, investigators told First Coast News.
The medical examiner’s office is still investigating the cause of death, which will be shared first with Tristyn’s family, the outlet reported.
Hardwick told reporters Monday afternoon that there are currently no other suspects in the case, but authorities will continue to investigate “multiple crime scenes” and are looking into several tips which could result in additional charges being filed.
According to News4Jax, deputies were seen searching a pond in the neighborhood near where Tristyn was found and a diver emerged from the body of water around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday holding an item in his hand.
—Vic Micolucci WJXT (@WJXTvic) May 10, 2021
Monday evening, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office confirmed to News4Jax that a widely shared photograph of a teenager holding up a peace sign in the back seat of a police car is the suspect. The photo comes from a Snapchat account that shares a name with the 14-year boy and is captioned: “Hey guys has inybody seen Tristyn lately.”
During the press conference, Hardwick said investigators were reviewing online evidence and social media posts that could be helpful in the case but did not comment on the specific Snapchat photo.
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