Police capture teen fugitive accused of murder: 'We didn’t know if they were ever going to find him,' uncle says

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Source: Unsplash; North Little Rock police

Jun. 28 2021, Published 3:46 p.m. ET

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A teenager on the run was captured in connection with the murder of a 13-year-old Arkansas girl last spring, police said.

Authorities arrested Tahmarcus Stewart, 17, on a warrant in Arlington, Texas, after receiving a tip the suspect was in the city hiding out at an apartment complex following the death of Arianna Staggers.

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The victim’s uncle, LaReem Staggers, told KARK-TV family had “started to give up hope” the little girl’s alleged killer would ever be taken into custody.

“We didn’t know if they were ever going to find him, so we were excited when they captured him,” Staggers said, adding, “That gave us faith back in the system that they were going to do the right thing and capture him.”

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On March 29, Staggers was gunned down in her home during a drive-by shooting, KATV reported.

“It was the worst day of my life,”Staggers’ mother,Olivia Burks, explained to the news station in May. “I’ve been through some things in my life, but that day was just, it was just like a nightmare. It's still a nightmare to me.”

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Staggers recalled his “bright-spirited” niece loved everyone and “gave great hugs.”

“Arianna was a singer, her hobby was singing, she had a beautiful voice,” Staggers told KARK. “She was just a beautiful child and we are going to remember those beautiful memories of her.”

Stewart faces a charge of first-degree murder and is expected to be extradited from Texas to Arkansas.

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