UPDATE: The 15-year-old suspect has been identified as Adrian Jerry Gonzalez. He will be tried for murder and kidnapping as an adult, according to Santa Cruz PD.
SANTA CRUZ (KRON) — The Santa Cruz Police Department is set announce two very important decisions Wednesday at 11 a.m. regarding the 15-year-old suspect arrested for the murder of 8-year-old Madyson Middleton.
The first, is whether the teen will be charged as a juvenile, or an adult. The second decision, is what his formal charges will be.
According to Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel, evidence shows the 15-year-old lured Middleton into his apartment Sunday evening and killed her.
KRON 4 sources confirm the suspect raped, strangled and stabbed Middleton before carrying her body downstairs to the apartment complex’s parking lot and dumping her body into a recycling bin.
After Middleton was reported missing Sunday evening, multiple agencies scoured the area looking for Maddy, who was last seen riding her new scooter around the Tannery Arts Complex where she and the suspect were residents.
Police arrested the teen, identified as Adrian Jerry Gonzalez who was standing by the recycling bin when Middleton’s body was discovered.
According to neighbors, the two were acquaintances. One neighbor said he had seen Maddy and the teen together “dozens of times.”
What exactly does it mean if Gonzalez is tried as an adult? According to the Shouse California Law group, “a minor tried in adult court faces the prospect of a lengthy sentence in adult prison with adult offenders. At worst, a minor adjudicated within the juvenile system faces commitment to the California Youth Authority until the age of 25.”
The horrific tragedy has rocked the community, and left many wondering what lead to such a heinous act.