There is a complete horror story unfolding in my part of the country this morning. Police say a 8-year-old Northern California girl was stabbed to death in her own home around noon yesterday. What a completely terrifying and heartbreaking story. And it just gets worse!
Her 12-year-old brother apparently walked in on the intruder in their home when he called their parents. The parents then called 911 while the intruder reportedly ran away. There's at least one report that a neighbor told police they saw the same man running from the home. That's when, police say, the older brother checked on his younger sister and found she had been stabbed and suffered "very serious and severe injuries." The girl was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
According to the Calaveras County Sheriff and District Attorney’s Office, the homicide took place in a rural neighborhood in Valley Springs, CA. The suspect is described as a "White or Hispanic male, with longer gray hair, six foot tall, muscular build, last seen wearing a black long sleeved shirt and blue pants." He is considered armed and dangerous.
As of last night, police were doing door-to-door searches for this suspect, but there don't seem to be any breaks in this case yet this morning. There are no suspects in custody. The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office will hold an official press briefing at 3:00pm today to update information relating to the homicide investigation.
There are simply not enough details right now for us to even begin to start processing this horror story. All I know is that no child should ever have to endure such an atrocity of being stabbed to death or having to find one's sibling in such a state. The noon hour in one's own home should never be the setting for such terror and heartbreak.
If you live in Valley Springs or the neighboring communities and see someone matching the suspect’s description, report it immediately by calling 911 or calling the tip line at (209) 754-6030.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the family, especially the young brother, at this time. May the police find their suspect very soon.
UPDATE 5:10pm ET:
Authorities and the county coroner have identified the girl as 8-year-old Leila Fowler. Initially (and in the original version of this post), she was reported as being 9-years-old, but Coroner Kevin Raggio said Sunday Leila would have turned 9 in June.
Do you keep your doors locked at all times? Even around noon?
Image via CBS