FAIRFIELD — Police spent more time at a press conference Wednesday deflecting questions and dispelling erroneous news reports than they did providing new details in their investigation into the homicide of a 13-year-old Suisun City girl.
They did announce that the FBI and the Department of Justice are involved in the investigation, but provided no details as to the level of that involvement.
Beyond that, no new information was released into the death of Genelle Renee Conway-Allen, whose body was found naked early Friday morning in a parking lot near the rear of Allan Witt Park. She was last seen Thursday.
Sgt. Rebecca Belk spent a good portion of her time at the podium greeting questions with no answer or claiming the department had no information to share about the topics raised.
“There’s anything possible at this point,” she told one reporter.
Conway-Allen was reported missing around 5:45 p.m. Thursday by her guardian at the foster home in nearby Suisun City where she lived. Eric May, 54, of Fairfield, said he found the girl’s naked body a little before 7 a.m. Friday.
Chief Walt Tibbet asked for the public’s help in providing details of the final minutes Conway-Allen was accounted for. She was last seen in the area of Railroad Avenue in Suisun City and was last captured on camera at the corner of East Tabor Avenue and Grande Circle in the late afternoon.
Belk read a brief statement from the family of Conway-Allen, in which they thanked everyone for their support and asked for privacy during their time of grief. It also commended Fairfield police for their work and asked for anyone with information to come forward.
“This has been a devastating tragedy for our family and community,” the statement read. “. . . Thank you again for your love and support during this difficult time.”
Tibbet addressed reports that aired on a newscast Tuesday that implied police were looking for a certain vehicle. He quickly dismissed those rumors of police searching for a gray van. Tibbet also said any information about a cause of death, other than homicide, has not been released.
“It is not appropriate,” he said. “At this time it will be hurtful to the investigation and devastating to the family.”
Tibbet was later surrounded by a group of cameras and reporters who continued to pepper him with questions. Rather than answer speculative questions, he asked them to be patient. He then thanked the media outlets that have respected the department’s protocols.
“That helps us alleviate fear,” Tibbet said.
Police during and after the press conference stressed a message they said they continually share with parents: the need for parents to talk to their children, to encourage them to be aware of their surroundings and to be wary of strangers.
Belk said parents should teach children that if a stranger approaches them, to scream to draw attention to themselves, and try to get away. Tibbet later said it’s important for parents at all times to be vigilant, but not necessarily hypervigilant, when it comes to their children’s safety.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the department’s Major Crimes Unit at 428-7600, the 24-hour tip line at 428-7345 or Crime Stoppers at 644-7867. Callers can remain anonymous.
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr. Glen Faison contributed to this report.