The body of a girl, 6, was found dumped in the woods near her New Carlisle home: A 14-year-old boy is being held following her death.
A 14-year-old boy, whose name is not revealed due to legal reasons, is being held behind bars following the homicide of Grace Ross. The six-year-old girl was found dumped in the woods near her home in New Carlisle, Indiana, as Daily MailÂ reports.
Little Grace was reported missing at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 12. Less than two hours later, at 8:25 p.m., her lifeless body was discovered ditched in the woods.
According to a preliminary autopsy, the child died by asphyxiation â deprivation of oxygen that can result in unconsciousness and often death. On Monday, the St. Joseph County Homicide Unit confirmed the cause of death was homicide by asphyxiation.
Reportedly, the same day the girl went missing, a 14-year-old boy was arrested for her death.
The suspect later appeared in court for a detention hearing. He was ordered to remain at a juvenile detention facility. His next court appearance is set to be on March 22.
In anÂ interviewÂ with ABC 57, St. Joseph County Second District Commissioner Derek Dieter said:
âVery horrific with how this laid out. The details of what Iâve known about so far, but any time thereâs violence and it affects children especially itâs always a little more intense.â
Since the boy is only 14, he will not be treated as an adult criminal. According to Indiana laws, a juvenile has to see a judge within 48 hours of their arrest for the detention hearing.
It was revealed that the teenager would remain in a detention center while the St. Joseph County Prosecutorâs Office reviews the preliminary inquiry into the alleged murder.
Meanwhile, the New Carlisle community grieves for the death of their beloved Grace.Â
Nicole Ross, Graceâs aunt, shared:
âThe amount of people that Iâve never met or talked to that have reached out via social media via text itâs been amazing I guess but I kind of wish it wasnât like this.â
In a FacebookÂ fundraiserÂ titled âPrincess Graceâs Memorial,â that already raised over $29,000 while aiming for $30,000, Ms. Ross wrote:
âMy darling 6-year-old niece Grace Ross passed away yesterday.
She is now an angel in heaven.â
Additionally, Kim Huston, who has been living in the neighborhood for 40 years and describes New Carlisle as âa heartwarming town,â commented:
âRight at your back door, you just donât anticipate anything like that ever happening in your area. Itâs a small town and we usually donât have much crime in the area at all. I mean everybody kind of keeps to themselves and kids on their bicycles, playing at the park, going to the library. And you donât realize in a momentâs notice, somebody realizing that their childâs gone and then have to hear what had happened at such a young age, itâs horrific.â
On Sunday evening, family and friends held a candlelight vigilÂ in Graceâs memory.
Hundreds of people gathered at the townâs Memorial Park to say one last goodbye to the little princess. AsÂ perÂ the South Bend Tribune, Graceâs devastated mother, Michelle Ross, said at the memorial:
âGrace was loved by everybody and she was friends with everybody. She would go up to a stranger on the street and be like, âHi, Iâm Grace and Iâm six.’â
Tara Bush, Graceâs elementary schoolâs principal, added that the six-year-old girlÂ âwas smiling all the timeâÂ andÂ âher smile even showed on her mask.â
The funeral service will be held in the Guisinger Chapel at the Palmer Funeral Home on Saturday.
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