SANTA CRUZ, Calif. -- The body of an 8-year-old girl from Santa Cruz who went missing Sunday night is believed to have been found in a dumpster. A 15-year-old boy was arrested Monday and being questioned by Santa Cruz police.
Although the body was not positively identified as Madyson Middleton, or Maddy, Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said they are confident about the identification.
On Monday night, officers cordoned off a large area of the apartment complex where Madyson and the teen lived. Neighbors say they saw him calmly being taken away in handcuffs. His friends and family, however, were hysterical.
Police say the dumpster is inside the garage of the apartment complex and it will take hours to process the scene. How the girl died is not yet known.
It was not immediately known if the two knew each other. Police believe there are no other suspects.
Madyson was last seen on surveillance video around 5 p.m. Sunday playing outside on her Razor scooter at the Tannery Arts Center on River Street, where she lives with her mother.
California Highway Patrol issued a statewide, all-points bulletin for all of its officers to be on the lookout for the girl. The sheriff's office search-and-rescue team were called in to help, along with a special K9 unit from the State Office of Emergency Services.
Earlier Monday, Madyson's mother, Laura Jordan, described her pain as she desperately waited for word on her missing daughter.
"I already fell apart, now I am just in survival mode. I cannot explain how difficult this is. Nobody should have to go through this."