An intruder fatally stabbed a 8-year-old girl in California Saturday, triggering a manhunt for the suspect who killed the young girl with no apparent motive. Early reports said she was 9.
Authorities are hunting for the seemingly crazed killer who broke into the young girl’s home in Valley Springs, southeast of Sacramento, by checking attics and storage sheds.
“We were doing a house-to-house search and in some cases were searching attics and storages,” Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jim Macedo told CBS Sacramento. “It’s a difficult area to search. It’s rural, it’s remote.”
The young Valley Srpings girl was identified as Leila Fowler on Sunday, according to Fox40. The seemingly random act of violence has shocked the small town of nearly 3,500 residents.
“We used to live in the valley, and it was getting real violent down there, and we’ve been here 11 years, and it’s been real good up here, just doesn’t seem right,” neighbor Mike Harris told the local CBS station.
According to the sheriff’s office, the girl’s 12-year-old brother saw the intruder inside their home and instantly called his parents, who in turn alerted authorities.
After the man, who was described as either white or Hispanic and about 6 feet tall, fled the house, the brother found his sister, who had been stabbed multiple times.
Leila Fowler died at the hospital.
Neighbors reportedly saw the suspect escape and described him as having long gray hair and wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and blue jeans.
According to Macedo, the children did not know the man who is considered armed and dangerous by police. Residents are being urged to stay inside and lock their doors.
“It’s hard to even imagine how somebody could do that,” Harris told CBS Sacramento about the vicious stabbing.
If residents have any information about the incident or know anyone with unexplained injuries, police request they contact a 24-hour tip line at (209) 754-6030.