A missing 13-year-old Florida girl’s body was discovered hours after her family reported her missing on Sunday, and a teen boy has been arrested in connection with her murder, according to the county sheriff.
Investigators positively identified the body as Tristyn Bailey, who was discovered dead in a wooded area in the close-knit community of Durbin Crossing around 6 p.m. Sunday, according to St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick at a press conference Monday morning.
Hardwick stated that a 14-year-old suspect, who Fox News will not name due to his age, has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Bailey. He stated that more charges could be added as the investigation progresses.
The sheriff stated that the investigation was still in its early stages, but that Bailey and the suspect grew up in the same neighborhood and attended the same school.
Investigators previously stated that the 13-year-old was last seen by family members at their home around midnight Saturday. Around 10 a.m. Sunday, her family reported her missing.
Police and residents immediately launched a multi-hour search for Bailey. Hardwick stated that a neighbor who was assisting in the search discovered her clothed body in the woods.
Hardwick praised the community for coming together to assist in the search for Bailey and the identification of the suspect.
“The community assisted us in solving this case,” said the sheriff. “They went to work when I said they went to work.”
There was no immediate word on the cause of death. An autopsy was being performed by a medical examiner.