The mystery surrounding the death of 6-year-old Alanna Gallagher is slowly starting to unravel in the Texas town of Saginaw. Police have officially named the Gallagher family's 17-year-old neighbor, Tyler Holder, as their chief suspect in the gruesome killing after a shoot-out that wounded one cop and sent the teenager to the hospital with a (non-lethal) gunshot wound to the head. Cops even say they're closing in on a suspected accomplice in the child's murder.
It all sounds like good news, right?
Technically, it is. It gives the Gallagher family answers. It explains what happened to their little girl.
But, let's be real.
There's no good news here. Not really.
A child is still dead.
What's more, this neighborhood now has to face that a kid -- Holder is just 17 after all, even if he is charged as an adult -- in their midst was likely a psychopath. Holder is accused of sexually assaulting and suffocating his young neighbor. Little Alanna was then left in the street, wrapped in a tarp, like a piece of garbage.
Witnesses say the teen has exhibited a ton of strange behavior recently. He allegedly identified the little girl's body before police were even able to, and he reportedly showed up at her funeral wearing a "wanted" t-shirt.
More from The Stir: Search for 6-Year-Old Alanna Gallagher's Murderer Turns Up New Lead
His DNA was allegedly found on Alanna, which cops are using to make a pretty clear link between the dead child and the suspect psychopath.
Heck, we may be talking about TWO teenage psychopaths. The alleged accomplice the police are talking about is as yet unidentified -- leaving the neighborhood to wonder who it might be. Holder is currently a "no information witness" because he's in the hospital, but reports on the alleged killer's condition indicate the gunshot missed his brain, and he's expected to recover. Then he should be able to answer questions.
His answers surely won't be pretty.
When you live in a small community, you don't expect bad things to happen ... at least not for the bad things to come from within. You don't tend to look at the local kids as would-be murderers. They're like your own kids in many ways. They're part of the fabric of the community, and you don't give them a second glance. So when they're around, you let your little kids play outside, just as Alanna was doing the last time she was seen.
For the murderer -- or perhaps the murderers -- to be a kid from the neighborhood is like another violation, another cold, hard slap to the face.
Do you look at kids in your neighborhood as "your own" or do you steer clear?
Image via police