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Valley Springs stabbing death: Police investigate possible lead

Leila Fowler, 8, of Valley Springs, is shown in photos during a vigil held in her honor. Fowler was stabbed to death in her bedroom on Saturday, April 28, 2013.
May 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police are trying to determine if there is a link between a kidnapping suspect and the stabbing murder of an 8-year-old Northern California girl.

Police arrested 44-year-old Jason Wryrynen Tuesday morning for allegedly entering a Placerville apartment to try and take a 15-month-old girl from her mother.

According to the Sacramento Bee, Wryrynen tried to take the girl by force, but the mother was able to wrestle her daughter away and struggled with the suspect until police arrived.

Placerville police Capt. Mike Scott told the newspaper that authorities have not connected the attempted kidnapping case with the Calaveras County case. However, Scott said there were similarities between Wryrynen and the description of the suspect in the killing of Leila Fowler in Valley Springs on Saturday.

Placerville officers were talking to Calaveras County investigators, and a DNA sample was collected from Wryrynen.

Calaveras County officials have said it appears the unknown intruder in the slaying of Leila in her home did not stem from an attempted robbery or other crime.

The girl's 12-year-old brother was home at the time, and authorities say he encountered the attacker, who then ran away.

Authorities said a witness saw a person running from the family home with a description similar to the one provided by Leila's brother. Investigators have released little information about the killing other than a vague description of a suspect with long gray hair.

Meanwhile, an emotional candlelight vigil was held Tuesday night in honor of Leila. Hundreds gathered at Jenny Lind Elementary School in to remember the 8-year-old.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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