THE “horrifically stabbed” body of Tristyn Bailey was reportedly found at a pond, as calls grow for her alleged murderer Aiden Fucci to be charged as an adult.
Hundreds of thousands of people have signed an online petition calling for the 14-year-old to have his charges upped from second- to first-degree murder.
Read our Aiden Fucci live blog for the very latest news and updates…
He was charged with the brutal murder of the 13-year-old teenager hours after her body was discovered with “significant injury to her head” and other signs of trauma, officials said.
Bailey was reported missing by her family on Sunday morning after a surveillance video allegedly showed her going for a walk with another person.
Her body was discovered in a wooded area by a neighbor out for a walk eight hours later.
Police had cordoned off several sites of interest including a retention pond in a residential area a little more than a quarter of a mile from Bailey’s home.
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said that the discovery was made at the south end of a pond in a cul-de-sac at the end of Saddlestone Drive in Durbin Crossing.
Cops said the location of the pond was “consistent with the timeline established from the video surveillance.”
The Medical Examiner's Office determined Bailey's cause of death to be a homicide.
In a statement on Tuesday, the office revealed that the Patriot Oaks Academy student had “blunt force trauma by stabbing.”
Her classmate Aiden Fucci was charged on Monday after a search warrant “led to the location of multiple items of evidentiary value at the suspect's home.”
It reportedly included pieces of clothing that gave presumptive positive tests for the presence of blood.
As of Friday morning, more than 375,000 people had signed a Change.org petition asking the State Attorney’s Office and Gov Ron DeSantis to charge Fucci as an adult and with first-degree murder.
If he is not charged as an adult, he cannot legally be held in jail beyond age 21.
Fucci currently remains in a state-run juvenile detention facility in Volusia County.
He is being held without bond.
A judge ordered on Tuesday that he remain behind bars for at least the next 21 days as prosecutors look at the case and make a decision on his charge and whether he will be tried as an adult or a juvenile.
Attorney Gene Nichols, who is not affiliated with the case, warned that the online petition will have no legal influence over the case and the State Attorney Office’s decision.
“They will make that decision based upon talking with the family, obtaining all the evidence from the Sheriff’s Office and the investigation,” he told News4Jax.
“You can expect that the state will most likely prosecute this young man as an adult based on everything that we’ve learned thus far.
“If the decision is made on first-degree murder, they will present all of the evidence to the grand jury and allow the grand jury to come back with an indictment for first-degree murder,” he added.
Few details of the case have been released so far but authorities said that Fucci is the only suspect.
He allegedly made “several admissions” but his comments were redacted from documents made public on Tuesday.
“This is a cold-blooded murder by an individual who, I’m not even gonna give his name. He doesn’t even deserve for his name to be mentioned,” Sheriff Rob Hardwick said Tuesday.
“This is a cold-blooded murder of a 13-year-old young girl who did not deserve to die.”
According to Fucci’s arrest report, surveillance footage shows two people matching his and Bailey’s description walking together at about 1.14am on Sunday.
A neighbor’s surveillance camera also reportedly shows the same pair walking along Saddlestone Drive, close to where Bailey’s body was found, about 30 minutes later.
One of the people in the footage was wearing black pants and a black shirt, the same clothes Bailey was wearing when her body was found in the pond the next day.
The other person was wearing shorts, a light-colored hooded sweatshirt, and white shoes with a black Nike logo.
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The arrest report said only this person was seen walking away from the area at around 3.27am carrying the white shoes in their hand.
The sheriff’s office has said that it will not be releasing new information publicly as they do not want to affect the case.
Details on the murder weapon or a motive for the crime have also not been released.
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