Just a few days ago, Priscilla Rodriguez, mother of 8-year-old Leila Fowler who was stabbed to death in her home on April 27, told CBS that not knowing who murdered her daughter was making things much harder to handle. Now, after a 2000-hour police investigation in Valley Spring, Calif., authorities have arrested a suspect -- Leila's 12-year-old brother was taken into custody on May 11.
The boy, whose name has not been released, originally told investigators that a man with a long, gray ponytail had entered their home, stabbed Leila to death, then left. A neighbor said she saw said man fleeing the house, but soon recanted her story.
Investigators took knives from the home, tested for D.N.A., and after two weeks, narrowed their focus on Leila's brother. They promptly held a press conference to alert the tight-knit northern California community that Leila's killer was behind bars -- sheriff Gary Kuntz explained that everyone can sleep easier tonight.
Everyone, that is, except Priscilla Rodriguez. Her third grader is dead and her sixth grader allegedly did it. Clearly, this must come as a shock to the mother who just days ago defended her son and pleaded for Leila's killer to be found ... to now have to reconcile the horrifying death of her daughter with the fact that her son may have done it has to be beyond devastating.
So far, there's been no talk of motive or of sentencing, but the 12-year-old has indeed been charged with homicide.
Priscilla wanted a conclusion to this overwhelming case, but I'm positive she didn't want it this way. The closure on Leila's death opens up questions about her son, her daughter's killer, that may never be answered.
Are you shocked to learn the brother has been charged?