Teen Charged After Body of 8-Year-Old Calif. Girl Found

Police believe body found in dumpster is that of Madyson Middleton
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2015 12:00 PM CDT
Teen Charged After Body of 8-Year-Old Calif. Girl Found
This undated photo released by the Santa Cruz Police Department shows Madyson "Maddy" Middleton from Santa Cruz, Calif.   (Santa Cruz Police Department via AP)

The search for an 8-year-old girl who went missing while riding her scooter Sunday afternoon has apparently come to a sad end. The chief of the Santa Cruz Police Department says a body found in a dumpster last night is likely that of Madyson "Maddy" Middleton, the AP reports. A 15-year-old boy who also lives at the Tannery Arts Center was arrested and is being questioned on suspicion of homicide. "While the Coroner's Office will ... confirm the identity, we are absolutely heartbroken to announce that the body appears to be that of 8-year-old Madyson Middleton," the department said in a statement, per USA Today. The tragic find comes after a massive search that involved the FBI, a copter crew, K9 units, and a couple hundred residents who searched and posted messages on social media and in fliers, KRON reports.

Maddy was reportedly waiting for a friend Sunday and was passing the time riding her scooter around the complex. The last surveillance video of Maddy, taken at 5:07pm, shows her riding the scooter past a row of metal mailboxes, per the San Jose Mercury News. Laura Jordan, Maddy's mom, tells the paper she searched far and wide for her daughter, thinking "maybe she got bored waiting for her play date, maybe she found another friend. But we had no luck." A detective helping search last night happened to lift the lid of a dumpster and made the terrible discovery, KRON notes. Neighbors tell the Mercury News that the teen boy's mother "screamed in agony" when he was arrested. (In Florida, two teens are still missing after their fishing boat overturned).

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