Calif. Town Locked Down After Girl, 8, Murdered

Police searched door-to-door for Leila Fowler's killer

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 29, 2013 6:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – A tiny Northern California town was shut down over the weekend amid a manhunt for the murderer of an 8-year-old. Residents of Valley Springs—population 2,500—were told to lock their doors and watch for a man accused of stabbing Leila Fowler on Saturday afternoon, the AP reports. Police went door-to-door as they searched sheds and attics for the man. "This kind of thing does not happen here," a local mother told the Modesto Bee.

Leila's brother, age 12, reportedly crossed paths with the man—described as white or Latino and wearing a black shirt and blue pants—in his house; after the attacker ran away, the boy found his sister. She was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Investigators reportedly found fingerprints and DNA in the girl's home, though it'll take as long as a week to get the results. Area schools are open today, notes Fox40.

Map locates Valley Springs, Ca.
Map locates Valley Springs, Ca.   (AP)
The town of Valley Springs was on lockdown after a murder.
The town of Valley Springs was on lockdown after a murder.   (Shutterstock)
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