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Investigators use evidence to search for the killer of 8-year-old girl

7:41 AM, Apr 29, 2013   |    comments
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VALLEY SPRINGS, CA -- An active search continues for the man believed to be responsible for the death of an 8-year-old girl on Saturday afternoon.

On Sunday the Calaveras County Coroner identified the young girl as Leila Fowler and that she died as the result of being stabbed.

A short stretch of Rippon Rd., near the home where the 8 year-old girl was killed, is where sheriff deputies concentrated their investigation Sunday. The surrounding access points leading into Rippon Road were all blocked off by deputies limiting entrance only to locals.

Investigators say that they have DNA and fingerprints to aid them in the search for the person responsible.

Austin Fritz, who knows the victim's sister says "We're friends with the girl who got harmed, her older sister. Nice family. You know you don't expect something like this to happen to them."

Saturday night, deputies say the 12 year-old boy who witnessed the intruder enter his house describes him as an older white or Mexican man in a dark shirt. After he called his parents for help, the boy found his sister dead and the intruder running off on foot.

This morning a few neighbors ventured outside to give water and snacks to deputies who have been searching for the suspect all night.

Neighbors tell News10 that they have a neighborhood watch group and no one recalls seeing a stranger come through in recent days. They do say the neighborhood contains many foreclosed houses and they suspect deputies are checking each one.

Valerie Kern explains that "there are a lot of empty houses and out buildings around here. A lot of huge rock croppings where somebody can hide."


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