Vigil and Donation Fund Set Up After Eight Year Old Stabbed to Death in Sierra Foothills

VALLEY SPRINGS (KRON) — A candlelight vigil is planned for Tuesday evening in Valley Springs for eight-year old Leila Fowler.

The little girl’s 12-year old brother found his sister’s remains inside their home in the town in the Sierra Foothills about 30 miles east of Stockton.

At a news conference Monday evening, authorities said they’re doing everything possible to find the killer including increasing patrols in the area. Authorities are also setting up a Memorial Donation Fund to help cover some of the costs of Leila’s funeral through F&M Bank of Central California on East Main Street in Linden.

Leila’s parents, Barney Fowler and Krystal Waters attended the news conference but did not speak to reporters.

The victim’s brother told police he spotted an intruder in the home. The boy followed the man until he left the home. Then the boy went to check on his sister and found the little girl dead.

Calaveras County Sheriff’s deputies say they have been conducting interviews in the area and collecting evidence. Some of the physical evidence is already at the state crime lab for analysis. Investigators say the Attorney General and the Department of Justice have already promised to make the case a priority.

Deputies say they’re not yet ready to release a sketch of the man because of conflicts between what the 12-year old boy saw and what a neighbor who spotted a man running from the house has said. Sex offenders in the area have been questioned but none have been ruled out as potential suspects.

Detectives say it’s too soon to know if the killing was random.

The vigil is planned for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at Jenny Lind Elementary where Leila went to school. KRON 4’s J.R. Stone and Scott Rates talked with students and staff members at the school where grief counselors were on hand Monday.

Leila’s mother visibly gasped when deputies announced at the news conference that the little girl’s autopsy showed she died from shock and hemorrhage associated with stabbing.

Stay tuned to KRON 4 and for the latest on this developing story.

(Copyright 2013, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)

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