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Brother arrested in Northern California girl's fatal stabbing

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 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The 12-year-old brother of an 8-year-old girl who was mysteriously stabbed to death in Northern California in late April has been arrested in connection with her killing, authorities said. He will be charged with homicide.

The boy had told investigators that he came across an intruder in their Valley Springs home around noon April 27. He described him as a man being tall with long, gray hair. The boy said he went to check on his sister, Leila Fowler, and found she had been stabbed. The girl was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Law enforcement warned residents of the quiet town just east of Stockton to keep their doors locked as they searched for a suspect. Authorities conducted door-to-door searches and divers also searched two nearby reservoirs.

A neighbor who told detectives she saw a man run away from the home later recanted her statement.

As part of the investigation, authorities seized knives from the home Leila shared with her father, stepmother and siblings to determine if one could have inflicted the fatal wounds.

No further details were released on how investigators determined that the boy was behind the stabbing.

A motive was not immediately known.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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