A 15-year-old boy is charged with aggravated murder for allegedly luring a young girl out of her parents’ house, then strangling her, officials said Tuesday.
The boy, who is not being named because he is a minor, is accused of tricking 12-year-old Kailey Vijil into leaving her suburban Salt Lake City, Utah, home by asking her for help finding his lost cat just before midnight last Thursday, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Kailey’s 14-year-old sister initially answered the door, but when the boy asked her for help, she declined. He then approached Kailey instead and she left the house with him.
She was reported missing at about 1:30 a.m. on Friday, just over an hour and half after she’d first disappeared. Officers pinged her cellphone, which led them to a horse pasture where they found Kailey’s body “lying in the field with a shirt wrapped around her neck.” A medical examiner later ruled that the girl had died from strangulation.
According to charging documents obtained by the Associated Press, the boy admitted to being with Kailey in a field after they left her house together late Thursday. He had no relationship with her prior to that night.
The documents also state that the boy tried to lure an 11-year-old girl out of her home with the same ruse just 20 minutes before he went to Kailey’s house. That girl’s family intervened and it was her grandmother who later told police where the suspect lived.
The boy had a history of arrests on misdemeanor charges dating back to last fall, including possession of drug paraphernalia, theft and burglary, the AP reports.
At a hearing Monday, a judge hinted at additional charges because the boy was accused of a “possible sexual assault.” But in charges filed Tuesday, there were no allegations of sexual assault.
When asked to clarify the judge’s comments, District Attorney Sim Gill said he wouldn’t “speculate on future charges,” adding that prosecutors “filed the charges that we think are appropriate,” he said.
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