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15-Year-Old Girl Charged with Elizabeth Olten's Murder

By Pete Kotz in Child Abuse, homicide
Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 11:19 am
Elizabeth-Olten-on-phone.jpg
Neighbors say the suspect is a 15-year-old girl who lived at Elizabeth's friend's house
UPDATE: See Alyssa Bustamante, 15, Charged With Slaying 9-Year-Old Elizabeth Olten.

9-year-old Elizabeth Olten disappeared Wednesday night as she walked home from a friend's house around dinner time. Police spent two days searching for the girl in the wooded areas of St. Martins, Missouri before receiving a handwritten note Friday that led them to a 15-year-old juvenile.

The teen then showed detectives Elizabeth's body, which was found in a deeply wooded area that had already been searched. She was so obstructed by foliage that they'd missed her the first time through...

Officials will only say that they plan to charge the juvenile with first-degree murder sometime this week. But according to residents, the assailant is a 15-year-old girl who lived in the house Elizabeth was leaving the night she disappeared. There's still no answer as to how or why the little girl was murdered.

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The neighborhood where Elizabeth was last seen before her murder
UPDATE: Police have a warrant to search a neighbor's house, but they still haven't released the name of a suspect in the case.

The Cole County Sheriff's Department served a warrant at a house just a few doors down from where Elizabeth lived, but they haven't released the nature of the warrant. A resident in the neighborhood says a 15-year-old girl lives in the home where Elizabeth was last seen.

But it may take some time before police reveal their suspect in the case. Missouri has some rather elaborate rules about trying a juvenile as an adult. So prosecutors must first hold a closed hearing in juvenile court to petition for murder charges as an adult.

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Word is circling that Elizabeth was murdered by the sister of her friend

UPDATE II: There's a hearing set for today on whether the 15-year-old girl will remain in jail.

But it won't be until November 18 that prosecutors go to court to petition to try her as an adult.

UPDATE III: The accused killer is reportedly the older sister of Elizabeth's friend.

The 15-year-old girl accused of murdering Elizabeth Olten is reportedly the older sister of the girl she was playing with the day she was killed. The girl was not granted her release in a closed hearing yesterday. However, a judge ruled that her hearing scheduled for November 18 will be open to the public. That will determine if the girl is tried as an adult. But the judge is barring recordings and photographs.

Kurt Valentine, the teen's lawyer, argued against the ruling, saying the publicity would hinder the girl's chances for a fair trial. "There's been a lot of speculation, but now we will have in giant headlines my client's name," Valentine told the Associated Press. "There is no way in the world that could possibly be in the best interest of this particular juvenile."

Also see 9-Year-Old Elizabeth Olten is Missing in Missouri After Walking Home From a Friend's House


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