The case of 8-year-old Leila Fowler, who was stabbed to death in her Valley Springs, California home, keeps getting stranger and stranger. Leila was found last Saturday, stabbed to death in her room after her 12-year-old brother said he saw a tall man with long gray hair running from the scene. Originally, a neighbor confirmed the account and claimed to have also seen the man, but now that female neighbor has recanted her story and police believe that the person is an unreliable witness. Police say when they tried to get her to contribute to a sketch, she wouldn't give them any information.
Police have still not put out a sketch of the suspect. Meanwhile, police took several knives from the Fowler home for testing. And an FBI profiler said that the suspect most likely knew Leila, who was stabbed when she and her brother were the only ones home. Says profiler Candice DeLong (a regular on the Investigation Discovery Network):
Did someone come from far across town, stop their car and randomly go into a house and kill that young girl? Probably not. [The killer] was either angry enough to want her dead or was trying to have sex with her. She resisted and she ended up dead.
Cops have also reportedly told the public NOT to be concerned for their safety. Does this mean they know there's not a killer loose in their town? And why would a neighbor say she saw a man running from the scene but now won't say anything? Is she nutty? Just wanted attention? Is scared?
Let's just ask what we're all thinking here. Could her brother be a suspect? After all, he was in the house and had opportunity. It's horrible to think about -- but killers this young do exist.
However, authorities have repeatedly said the boy is not a suspect and is cooperating with the investigation. Of course, they would say that to keep him cooperating.
However, if the brother was the main suspect, why would the police spend manpower searching the area for the suspect? They've looked through two nearby ponds for evidence.
And where is the weapon? Although knives from the Fowler home are being tested, would a 12-year-old really be able to have the presence of mind to clean knives and put them back? Why weren't the knives taken for testing last week? If a family knife is missing, wouldn't the boy have been arrested by now?
I have to assume investigators know what they're doing. The family must be in agony wondering what happened to their daughter in their own home. I can't imagine the horror of what they're going through.
What do you think happened?
Image via Alan Cleaver/Flickr