Saturday, April 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Police: More info on Suisun girl’s death coming soon

allan memorial, 2/4/13

A memorial at Allan Witt Park for a 13-year-old girl who was found dead nearby on Friday has continued to grow and was filled with candles and stuffed animals, Monday morning. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic)

FAIRFIELD — Police continued to say little Monday and hinted that an announcement could come Tuesday that may shed more light on Friday’s homicide of a missing 13-year-old from Suisun City.

Sgt. Rob Lenke said Fairfield police are releasing no new information at this time, but said an update is “forthcoming.” He said that could happen at some point Tuesday, but timing will be dictated by the investigation.

The identity of the 13-year-old found naked early Friday in Allan Witt Park is still not being released because of sensitivity to the family, the school that the student attended and the investigation, Lenke said.

Monday marked the first day of school since media sources reported that the 13-year-old girl attended Green Valley Middle School.

Fairfield police at Green Valley Middle School on Monday morning said that no media would be allowed on the school campus. Lenke politely escorted a lone reporter to the sidewalk and seemed somewhat surprised that more reporters weren’t there.

The reason for keeping media off campus, he said, is “to give the school some room to breathe and get settled.”

“They’re trying to get through the process,” he said.

Student Gabriella Chavez walked to the school that morning and had heard reports about the 13-year-old girl’s fate.

“It’s kind of scary, because she went to our school,” she said.

A student next to her declined to give her name, but gave her reaction to the incident: To be alert.

Parents were alert, too. One drove up to a reporter in front of the school wanting to know why a stranger would be hanging out there and talking to students.

Andrew Green-Ownby, executive director of the Fairfield-Suisun School District’s Pupil Services Division, said the district made counselors available at the school, in case students needed them. It had three school psychologists and at least three therapists from the nonprofit Children’s Nurturing Project there in the morning, he said.

“Whenever there’s an issue that might involve a lot of public attention and media coverage, we meet with the staff to give them information so everyone has the same information,” he said.

A makeshift monument of stuffed animals, candles, flowers and balloons has continued to grow since Saturday against a “No Motorized Vehicle Allowed” sign in Allan Witt Park, a short distance from where the girl’s body was found.

Friends of the victim also left letters. “I love you and your family. I think about the things we shared and didn’t share,” one letter said. Another said, “Well now that you’re gone I have no one there for me. I miss you so much. Love always, your BFF.”

Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or dbernardini@dailyrepublic.net. Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or beberling@dailyrepublic.net.

Danny Bernardini And Barry Eberling

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Discussion | 8 comments

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  • LilFebruary 05, 2013 - 12:42 am

    Why wasn't this on the front page on Monday's paper? A homicide of a teenage girl is not front page news three days after she was found? Her name and picture is plastered everywhere else. Sacramento news had interviews with family and friends, SF news had interviews with family. But our hometown paper is out of the loop? The Republic prides itself on being a community newspaper and this happens in our community and you guys practically ignore it. The main story in this town is NOT some guy from Vallejo who is in Mission Solano. It is the girl who was murdered. You guys printed some kind of "oops" article the other day about how you dropped the ball because you didn't catch a typo in a headline. THIS is your big oops. I shouldn't have to read SF newspapers to find out about the follow-up to a murder in my own town. Even Tuesday's edition the highlight was on the excon, not the poor girl who was murdered in one of our biggest parks in town. Your coverage of this is really lacking.

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  • Truth be toldFebruary 05, 2013 - 1:50 am

    You know what's even more interesting is that this sounds to me like it was mishandled from the very begging. Sounds like she was treated as a run away or just missing. Not as a possible abduction or something that would have raised the bar on trying to find this child. It didn't become a huge deal until her body was found. So it would see that someone really screwed up. Surprise? No!

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  • AlanFebruary 05, 2013 - 6:20 am

    Hey Lil, This is your big oops. You ranted about why this wasn't front page news three days after she was found, and the reason is, it was front page news in last Saturday's edition, the day after she was found. The Daily Republic staff has been on top of this story from day one. It's difficult to imagine how they could have done a better job reporting this story. It is a hometown newspaper and the reporters and editors are very approachable. If you have a real issue with their reporting, contact them or their editors directly. If you have new information, let them know and they will follow up. You've done what happens so frequently in these forums. You have about 10% of the available information, make a judgement about 100% of the situation and complain about things as if you are an expert in this field. Try reading the newspaper everyday before making ridiculous comments condemning our local reporters and our hometown newspaper.

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  • LilFebruary 05, 2013 - 10:30 am

    So a child gets killed in our town and it's not important enough to have coverage on the front page, three days after her death, only the first day? That is not right. Today's story is about the guy who found her, poking at her body. This is local coverage of a child being killed in our community. I do read the newspaper everyday. I'm not making snap judgments. They should not have buried the story on page three so soon after the girl's death. The fact that a child was murdered in our town should be the most pressing story and it is not getting the coverage that it deserves.

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  • Fairfield ResidentFebruary 05, 2013 - 11:43 am

    Sorry Lil - I get the newspaper daily, and this was on Saturday's front page. Get your facts straight.

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  • LilFebruary 05, 2013 - 4:24 pm

    Where did I ever say that it wasn't on Saturday's front page? My point is that is should be on the front page EVERY DAY. Not forever, sure. But Monday's paper, the only thing about this death was on page 3. Sorry if I think that a young girl being killed on Friday deserves more than page 3 by Monday.

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  • JBEEFebruary 05, 2013 - 9:42 pm

    I agree with LIL.

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  • Fairfield ResidentFebruary 05, 2013 - 10:36 pm

    I seriously doubt the young girl's family and friends want to be reminded of the tragedy being plastered on the front page of the newspaper for the next few days. Out of respect, let us show some compassion and sensitivity, and let them grieve. Need we be reminded... Their loss is fresh and raw.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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