(Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)
A 12-year-old boy has been arrested for stabbing his 8-year-old sister to death on April 27. The unnamed boy will be charged with homicide.
Leila Fowler was found stabbed multiple times and later died of her wounds in Valley Springs, Calif. She and her brother were home alone together at the time of the incident.
As police investigated the brutal killing, they first started with a manhunt to look for a possible intruder, after Leila's brother said he saw a man run from the scene at their home.
However, speculation grew that the boy may be involved, and just a day before he was arrested for her murder, his biological mother had vehemently denied that he was involved. Priscilla Rodriquez told Sacramento TV station KOVR that her son could never hurt his sister: "I've never seen him be mean to her."
The news has shocked the quiet community. The small town of Valley Springs had put up purple ribbons in honor of Leila - purple was her favorite color.
Pattie Campbell, a resident of the area, told AP: "It's bad enough to lose a child. I can't imagine losing a child by one of my own children. It's just shocking. I don't know what else to say."
The death of Leila had gripped the quiet neighborhood as residents had initially feared that a killer was on the loose. Residents had been extra vigilant, with some arming themselves.
No other information on the order of events that led to the 12-year-old's arrest has been released. There had been no sign of robbery at the Fowler home despite what he had told investigators and several knives have been seized from the home by authorities.
Leila had lived with her father, stepmother and siblings when she was killed in the home.
Here is a video news report into the developments: