Story Summary

7-year-old Puyallup girl attacked, found in woods

A 7-year-old Puyallup girl reported missing from her home Wednesday was found severely beaten in the woods nearby her home hours later, Puyallup police said Thursday, July 11.

Police are investigating possible kidnapping and assault after finding the girl early Thursday morning near her home at the Glenbrooke Apartments in the 700 block of 43rd Avenue SE in Puyallup. The girl was choked, possibly sexually assaulted and could not walk out of the woods on her own, police said.

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Local News
07/16/13

Prosecutors want teen charged as adult in attack on 7-year-old girl

TACOMA — A 14-year-old Puyallup boy was charged Tuesday with kidnapping, raping and trying to kill a 7-year-old neighbor girl, and now prosecutors want the suspect tried as an adult.

puyallup2It was a shocking case out of Puyallup last week, and the attack was so brutal that prosecutors are taking the unusual step of asking a judge to try him as an adult.

“This crime is so severe that the safety of the community calls out for adult accountability,” said Mark Lindquist, Pierce County prosecutor.

In Juvenile Court Tuesday, the 14-year-old pleaded not guilty to kidnapping, attempted murder, rape, and rape of a child.

“It’s hard to believe he did it because I try to imagine that my best friend would do that and it’s hard,” said Desiree Jiles, 14, who came to court with her mom to show support for the teen.

According to police, the suspect lured the girl he knew from the playground at their Puyallup apartment complex, and attacked her in the woods, sexually assaulting her, and trying to choke her to death to cover up the crime.

Detectives said the boy told them he “had to get rid of her so she wouldn’t tell anyone.”

Lindquist said, “That sounds like attempted murder and it sounds like someone eliminating a sexual assault victim so she couldn’t testify against him.”

It could be weeks before the judge decides whether the boy will be tried as an adult. For now, he is being held without bail.

If the defendant were prosecuted as a juvenile, he would be facing a maximum sentence of six and a half years. If convicted as an adult, he faces up to 30 years in prison.

The girl, who underwent surgery to repair damage to her throat, was still hospitalized Tuesday but upgraded to satisfactory condition. A child assault specialist doctor found clear signs of sexual assault, the prosecutor’s office said.

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SEATTLE — A Puyallup teen told police he flew into a rage before attacking a 7-year-old girl and leaving her for dead. Now, he could face a charge of attempted murder.

New details are emerging as that teen faced a judge Friday regarding the brutal attack.

The young girl who was attacked underwent surgery on Friday to fix lacerations around her neck,and is said to be in stable condition.

In court, the 14-year-old suspect stared straight ahead and spoke softly.

“It is brutal and it is difficult on many different parties,” prosecutor Kevin Benton said.

According to probable cause documents, the teen lured the little girl from a playground at their apartment complex to show her a bird’s nest in the woods. That’s where police said he went on the attack, punching her and knocking her to the ground. Court documents said the victim told authorities she screamed for him to stop during what police have called a “savage attack.”

The boy later told detectives he knew he was going to get in trouble so he “had to get rid of her so she couldn’t tell anyone.”

He then reportedly pulled her further into the woods and then choked her until she passed out.

The girl was eventually found after police brought in a bloodhound. She was so badly hurt she had to be carried out, but not before telling police who attacked her.

Neighbors, who had also searched for the young girl, were shocked.

“That’s absolutely heartbreaking,” Sierra Stuln said. “I can’t even imagine someone doing that to a little girl and then leaving her.”

The lacerations around the girl’s neck required surgery and a doctor’s exam also revealed signs of sexual assault.

In court, prosecuting attorney Kevin Benton asked the judge to hold the boy over the weekend as they consider charges that could include attempted murder and rape of a child.

“The most disturbing thing is we have a 7-year-old child. It’s also disturbing that we have a 14-year-old child, so there really is nothing about this that isn’t disturbing,” Benton said.

Local News
07/11/13

7-year-old girl attacked, left in woods; 14-year-old suspected

PUYALLUP — A 7-year-old girl reported missing from her home Wednesday was found severely beaten in the woods nearby hours later, police said.

girlattacked“That’s absolutely heartbreaking,” said a neighbor, Sierra Stuln. “I can’t even imagine someone doing that to a little girl and then leaving her.”

Police are investigating the assault after finding the girl early Thursday morning near her home at the Glenbrooke Apartments in the 700 block of 43rd Avenue SE in Puyallup.

The girl was choked, may have been sexually assaulted, and could not walk out of the woods on her own, police said.

The girl’s parents called police after she went missing from the complex, and family and friends searched for hours and failed to find her.

“Please God, let me find this baby alive and okay,” said Amanda Villalva, whose young daughter often plays with the 7-year old victim. “All I could think of is, what if that was my child?”

Police called to the scene canvassed the complex in a door-to-door search. The canvas failed to locate the girl, and an officer from Normandy Park Police and his bloodhound were called to the scene at 11:50 p.m after a resident located the victim’s shoe near the edge of a wooded area.

The bloodhound located the severely injured girl in the wooded area at 12:13 a.m.

She was able to identify her alleged attacker as a 14-year-old boy who lives in the same apartment complex. Police issued a search warrant for the suspect and took him into custody at 4:45 a.m.

The teen lives just a few doors down from the victim. Despite the age difference, the two apparently often played together.

“Something like this happens, you don’t expect it to because you see them two hanging out all the time,” said Aren Holland, a neighbor who also helped look for the little girl.

During the search, neighbors said the teenage suspect was hanging around the parking lot, and may have given misleading statements about where the girl went. They also said he had joked in the past about killing someone.

The teen hasn’t been charged yet but will be making a court appearance Friday.

The little girl was rushed to the hospital, where she is in stable condition and improving.

Villalva is relieved her daughter’s playmate is still alive.

“We all stood in prayer last night, prayed a few different times, so to hear that she’s alive and OK was probably the greatest feeling ever,” she said.

PUYALLUP — A 7-year-old girl reported missing from her home Wednesday was found severely beaten in the woods nearby her home hours later, Puyallup police said.

Police are investigating possible kidnapping and assault after finding the girl early Thursday morning near her home at the Glenbrooke Apartments in the 700 block of 43rd Avenue SE in Puyallup. The girl was choked, sexually assaulted and could not walk out of the woods on her own, police said.

Missing childThe girl’s parents called police after she went missing from the complex and family and friends searched for hours and failed to find her. Police called to the scene canvassed the complex in a door-to-door search. The canvas failed to locate the girl, and an officer from Normandy Park Police and his bloodhound were called to the scene at 11:50 p.m after a resident located the victim’s shoe near the edge of a wooded area.

The bloodhound located the severely injured girl in the wooded area at 12:13 a.m.

According to police, the girl suffered extensive but non-life-threatening injuries, and was taken to a local hospital. She was able to identify her alleged attacker as a 14-year-old male resident of the same apartment complex. Police issued a search warrant for the suspect and took him into custody at 4:45 a.m.

Police are still trying to determine if the boy lured her into the woods, or if she went on her own.

Puyallup Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit is investigating the case.

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