Maddy Middleton died from asphyxia, stab wounds to the neck

Madyson Maddy Middleton
FILE This undated photo provided by the Santa Cruz Police Department shows Madyson "Maddy" Middleton, from Santa Cruz, Calif. Prosecutors charged Adrian Jerry Gonzalez, 15, with murder, kidnapping and sexual assault Wednesday, July 29, 2015 in the death of the 8-year-old girl in an artists complex in a California beach town. Police say Gonzalez lured Middleton from a courtyard where she had been riding her scooter over the weekend into his family's apartment where he attacked and killed her. (Courtesy of Santa Cruz Police Department via AP)

SANTA CRUZ (KRON) — Maddy Middleton, the 8-year-old girl whose body was discovered in a recycling bin, died of asphyxia and stab wounds to the neck, according to Lt. Kelly Kent of the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office.

15-year-old Adrian Gonzalez has been charged as an adult for the murder and sexual assault of Middleton. He’s due back in court on September 21.


Middleton was last seen riding her new scooter around the Tannery Arts Complex, not far from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, on the evening of July 26. Her body was found the next night, stuffed in a recycling bin that was stored inside an enclosed parking garage downstairs from the suspect’s apartment.

Gonzalez, who was standing nearby when a detective discovered Middleton’s body, lured the girl into his apartment Sunday evening and killed her, according to Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel.

KRON 4 sources confirm the suspect raped, strangled and stabbed Middleton before carrying her body downstairs and dumping her body into the bin.

Since Gonzalez will be tried as an adult, his sentence will be much less lenient than if he was tried as a juvenile.  If convicted, Gonzalez could face life in prison.


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