Boy, 15, charged as adult in death of California girl, 8, who went missing

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Madyson "Maddy" Middleton

Madyson “Maddy” Middleton

(CNN) — A 15-year-old boy was charged as an adult with murdering and sexual assaulting an 8-year-old girl, whose body was found in a recycling bin after she went missing in Santa Cruz, California, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Adrian Jerry Gonzalez also faces a kidnapping charge in the killing of Madyson “Maddy” Middleton, said Santa Cruz District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell.

The boy could face life in prison if convicted, Rosell said.

“At this point, there is no plea deal on anything,” the prosecutor told reporters.

The girl, an acquaintance of the defendant, voluntarily entered the apartment of the boy on Sunday, police said.

Asked whether authorities knew of a motive in the case, the prosecutor told reporters: “I can tell you this. People do things for lots of reasons. Sometimes we understand them. Sometimes we don’t.”

Gonzalez also faces charges of two special circumstances involving sexual offense, kidnapping and lying in wait, Rosell said.

“I’ve been here 24 years,” the prosecutor said. “Off the top of my head, I can’t remember any 15-year-old charged with these specific offenses, including sexual assault offenses.”

Gonzalez is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, authorities said.

The teen’s attorney couldn’t be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

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