Teen charged with murder after death of 13-year-old Florida girl

Teen charged with murder after death of 13-year-old Florida girl

Authorities in Florida arrested and charged a 14-year-old boy with murder a day after the disappearance and death of a 13-year-old girl.

The parents of Tristyn Bailey, a student and cheerleader at Patriot Oaks Academy in St. Johns, Florida, reported their daughter missing on Sunday morning after she failed to return home the night before.

13-year-old Tristyn Bailey.St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office / via Twitter

Bailey was last seen Sunday morning at 1: 15 a.m. near the Durbin Amenity Center, a post announcing the missing person from the St Johns County Sheriff’s Office said.

Throughout the day Sunday, members of the community, classmates and Bailey’s cheer squad searched for her, NBC News affiliate WTLV reported.

But shortly before sundown, St Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick called off the search and announced that Bailey’s body had been found in a wooded area.

Hardwick announced Thursday the arrest of a 14-year-old male suspect, whom NBC News is not naming because of his minor status, on a single charge of second-degree murder.

“That is the only suspect that has to do with the death of Tristyn,” Hardwick said, adding that the suspect and victim had attended school together. He would not say whether they were currently classmates.

The suspect will have a preliminary detention hearing tomorrow via Zoom at the Volusia County Regional Detention Center, according to a press release from the Florida State Attorney’s office.

“I would tell you this: this is a long process we are in the very early stages of this,” Hardwick said.

A spokesperson for Patriot Oaks Academy did not immediately respond to a NBC News request for comment.

Bryan Shorstein, a spokesperson for the Florida State Attorney, said the suspect did not have an attorney as of Monday afternoon.

Image: Tim FitzsimonsTim Fitzsimons

Tim Fitzsimons is a reporter for NBC News. he/him

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