♦ Photo Of Isabella Sarah Tennant (5)
LATEST UPDATE – (NY)
Isabella Tennant, 5, was allegedly murdered by a 16-year-old family friend, John Freeman, in her grandmothers home.
An upstate teen killed a 5-year-old girl he was babysitting “with his bare hands” and, with the help of a friend, bagged her body and dumped it in an alleyway garbage can, police said. Little Isabella Tennant’s slain body was found in at the bottom of a trash can near downtown Niagara Falls at around 9 a.m. on Monday, a few hours after her family reported her missing, authorities said.
“It’s a terrible crime. It tears at your heart,” Niagara Falls Police Capt. William M. Thomson told reporters on Monday. “I have grandchildren the same age as this victim, and it is horrible.”
The suspect, John Freeman, 16, was described as a “trusted” family friend who was asked to look after the girl when her great-grandmother went to bed on Sunday night, authorities said.
“It is very disturbing,” Thomson said, according to the Buffalo News. “We don’t have any motive for this.”
Pictured: John Freeman (16) And Tyler Best (18)
Freeman and a pal, Tyler Best, 18, of Buffalo, were charged in the girl’s death and made their first court appearance on Tuesday morning.
Isabella, who lived in Cheektowaga, was staying overnight with her great-grandmother, Sharon Lascelle, while her mom worked a shift at a Niagara Falls sports bar, the Buffalo News reported. Lascaelle went to bed at around 11:00 p.m., and asked Freeman to come over and look after the tot, authorities said. Freeman and the family were “close,” authorities said, and he had looked after the girl alone before. The family reported Isabella missing at around 6:30 a.m. after her mom came home and couldn’t find her, authorities said.
Freeman was questioned, but told police he last saw the girl at around midnight, the Buffalo News reported.
Cops quickly got a break in the case when Best, who was crashing with Freeman, showed up at police headquarters at around 9 a.m. and admitted to helping dump the little girl’s body. Best led police to a trash can in an alley between Third and Fourth streets, just blocks from the Lascelle’s home, the newspaper said. The girl was fully clothed, and there were so signs the teen used any weapons to kill her, police said. “At this time we believe Freeman killed Isabella with his bare hands …and that Best was only involved after she was deceased and assisted with moving her remains,” police said in a statement, which was posted on the local NBC News station.
Hundreds Attended Candel-light-Vigil To Honor The Murdered Girl
An autopsy was planned for Tuesday morning.
Freeman was charged with second-degree murder, while Best was charged with tampering with evidence. Both pleaded not guilty. They were due back in court on Sept. 7.
Hundreds of stunned community members gathered at Sal Maglie Stadium, a minor league ballpark, on Monday night for a candlelight vigil.
“There are no words I could say to take away (Isabella’s mother’s) pain… I support her and I love her,” family friend Christina Conte told local NBC.
Latest UPDATE: 8/28/12 ↔ MOM: Boy accused of killing NY Girl wasn’t in home. ↔ SOURCE: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/charged-death-ny-girl-court-17096376
Previous Article Published 8/27/12 → A five-year-old girl who disappeared from her grandmother‘s house was found dead in a garbage can down a NY alley yesterday. (Aug. 27th, 2012)
A 16-year-old boy, described as a ‘trusted family friend’, was named as a person of interest in the death of Isabella Sarah Tennant, according to police.
The girl was last seen at midnight at her grandmother’s home on 6th Street in the City of Niagara Falls, New York on Sunday night.
Her body was found, around 12 hours later, stuffed into a garbage bag and dumped two streets away between 3rd and 4th.
The girl’s grandmother was known for helping troubled children and the 16-year-old regularly came to the house, according to Wgrz.com.
Police were tipped off to the location of the child’s body by another 16-year-old. No weapon was found at the scene but there were indications of trauma.
The 16-year-old was expected to be charged with second-degree murder, according to sources.
Police were releasing no further information at present.
A neighbor who was also at the grandmother’s house and was one of the last people to see five-year-old Isabella had also been spoken to by police as a person of interest.
The girl who had blue eyes and blonde hair was last seen wearing pink pyjamas with black stars.
Neighbors had combed the area late into the night and police brought in search dogs.
The girl was being cared for by her grandmother while her mother, of Cheektowaga, worked at Player’s nightclub in Niagara Falls.