SANTA CRUZ (KRON) — New details have emerged in the case of the missing Santa Cruz 8-year-old girl, Maddy Middleton, whose body was found inside a recycling bin a day after she vanished.
Sources say that the murder suspect, Adrian Jerry Gonzalez, 15, who has been charged as adult with the girl’s murder, duct taped Middleton then raped, strangled and stabbed her.
He is facing six felony charges: murder with special circumstances, kidnapping with special circumstances, and four counts of sexual assault–each with aggravated circumstances. They include the use of a deadly weapon.
The boy even contemplated suicide, according to sources.
Middleton’s body was discovered inside of a dumpster at the Tannery Arts Center by one of the department’s detectives Monday night. Police are not sure how long the body was inside the dumpster.
“At approximately 7:55 p.m., and this is extraordinarily heartbreaking news that I’m about to give to you, our detectives discovered the body of a young female inside of a dumpster at the complex located behind me,” said Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel on Monday night.
Initial reports of Middleton’s disappearance were received at 6:08 p.m. Sunday night, police said. Surveillance video captured footage of the girl riding her scooter around the complex at about 5:05 p.m.
“It’s my belief that she was killed before we got the phone call Sunday night,” said Vogel.
Upon receiving the call, police and detectives scoured the complex and surrounding areas.
On Monday night, a police detective conducted a secondary search of the complex and looked inside a dumpster located inside an enclosed ground level garage.
Gonzalez was standing nearby the dumpster while crews searched for Middleton. Sources say that the boy tried to run away from the scene but was quickly arrested around the same time the girl’s body was found, according to Vogel.
The suspect and Middleton were neighbors at the Tannery Arts complex.
According to police, the girl was lured into the teen’s apartment on Sunday night. Investigators found evidence that the girl was murdered inside the upstairs apartment before her body was carried down into the first floor garage then placed into a recycling bin.
Police say Gonzalez went to great lengths to hide her body. Police also said Middleton went with the teen because she trusted him.
He will not get the death penalty because he is a minor.