A teenage boy is in custody and considered the sole suspect in the death of a 13-year-old girl in Florida, authorities said.
On May 9, Tristyn Bailey was reported missing in the Durbin Crossing area, Jacksonville’s First Coast News reported.
Bailey’s cheerleading teammates, deputies and other community volunteers searched for the teen all day. The sheriff’s office finally called off the effort around 6 p.m. following an area resident discovering the clothed body of the victim in a wooded area.
“This case was solved because a gentleman saw the information that was put out there and went to work looking around his immediate area, where he lives at, and we can’t thank him enough,” St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick said, noting 14-year-old Aiden Fucci “is the only suspect that has to do with the death of Tristyn.”
Fucci was charged with second-degree murder and placed in the custody of the Department of Juvenile Assistance.
“Justice is being served,” Hardwick said of the boy’s arrest.
Hardwick noted the sheriff’s office would let the medical examiner’s office “take their time and be thorough, dot their i’s and cross their t’s.”
“It’s important,” he insisted. “We have a person charged with a serious crime, and we have a family that’s grieving the loss of a loved one — a child, a 13-year-old child.”
The victim’s classmates were also in shock over the news of Bailey’s death.
“This school is grieving. This community is grieving," Hardwick said. "Tristyn is not coming back. They loved her in school. And now we have a person charged with her murder.”