Police Chief Kevin Vogel said late Monday night that the missing 8-year-old Santa Cruz girl, Madyson “Maddy” Middleton, has been found dead.
Police arrested a 15-year-old boy who lives in the same apartment building at the Tannery Arts Center on River Street as Madyson’s family.
He is considered a homicide suspect, Vogel said. KSBW is not releasing the boy’s name at this time because he is a minor and has not been charged.
The boy was an enthusiastic yo-yoer, and taught a yo-yo lesson to kids at the arts center as recently as July 13.
Madyson was last seen riding her white Razor scooter at 4:12 p.m. Sunday outside the apartment building. Her mother realized the girl was missing less than an hour later, and called police. Law enforcers and volunteers immediately began searching, and FBI agents joined the search soon after.
Madyson’s body was found by detectives at 7:55 p.m. Monday hidden inside a dumpster at the arts center.
Officers arrested the boy at the Tannery Arts Center complex and took him to the Santa Cruz police station for questioning. Vogel said he did not know how or if the boy knew Madyson, and did not release a motive for possibly killing her.
Vogel said that the tragic moment and large media presence during his late night press conference gave him the same terrible feelings that he experienced when two of his officers were murdered in the line of duty.
“It’s horrible. It’s awful. It’s heartbreaking. The last time I stood in front of a group like this was when my officers were killed. And it feels just like it did that night,” Vogel said.
Friends and neighbors described the 8-year-old, who everyone called “Maddy,” as outgoing and full of spunk.
She had a new scooter and was showing it off Sunday. Then she was gone.
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SOURCE: KSBW – Brynne Whittaker and Phil Gomez