A body found inside a dumpster at a complex in Northern California is believed to be that of an 8-year-old girl who went missing Sunday afternoon, police said late Monday. A 15-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with the case.
Santa Cruz Police Department said it was "disappointed" to announce that the search for Madyson Middleton has concluded after the body was discovered at the Tannery Arts Center complex. "While the Coroner’s Office will be responsible to confirm the identity, we are absolutely heartbroken to announce that the body appears to be that of 8 year old Madyson Middleton," the department said in a statement.
Middleton was last seen riding her scooter at the complex, where she lived with her mother. The boy arrested in the case was also reportedly a resident of the complex.
"Detectives have sealed off a residence at the complex and are obtaining a search warrant for the apartment. Detectives will process the crime scene for evidence throughout the night," the police department said.
Middleton’s parents met with investigators Sunday night and again on Monday at police headquarters to get updates about the whereabouts of their daughter.
Middleton’s mother, Laura Jordan, reportedly said that she looked at the surveillance video of their housing complex that shows the girl’s last minutes before she went missing.
Police have also conducted a door-to-door search of the entire complex for Middleton, while searchers from throughout the state looked in boats, helicopters, on foot and bike, with the help of sniffer dogs, the Associated Press reported.