SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Aug. 13 (Doug G. Ware) — An 8-year-old girl who was abducted from a northern California apartment complex and killed nearly three weeks ago died from stab wounds to the neck and suffocation, a coroner said Thursday.
Maddy Middleton disappeared from her mother’s apartment in Santa Cruz on July 26, and was found dead the next day. A 15-year-old boy has been arrested and charged with the crime.
Investigators believe Middleton was lured into another apartment by the boy, and was tied up and sexually assaulted. The boy is accused of disposing of the girl’s body in a recycling bin on the complex grounds.
It wasn’t specifically detailed by the coroner how Middleton died, but the official report states she died from “positional asphyxiation” and showed stab wounds on her neck, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Police believe Maddy casually entered the boy’s apartment because she trusted him.
The boy will be tried as an adult in the case, officials said. If he is convicted, he faces a sentence of life in prison with parole. Because he is a minor, he is not eligible for the death penalty or life imprisonment without parole.
The teenage suspect is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 21.