A 15-year-old boy has been arrested by authorities in the investigation into the death of a 10-year-old Colorado girl.
Kiaya Campbell was found dead June 8 in a grassy area about two miles from where she was last seen with a teenage boy. She was found hours after the community and authorities launched searches to find her after she went missing during a strong thunderstorm.
While a cause of death hasn’t been determined, the Adams County Coroner’s Officer said it was “other than accidental,” and police were investigating her death as a homicide because of evidence that was found during a search.
She was last seen with a 15-year-old family friend prior to being reported missing by her sister around midnight June 8.
The 15-year-old suspect appeared in juvenile court alongside his mother in the afternoon of June 12. The hearing was closed to media members.
Campbell was described as being a happy girl, and was an avid YouTuber. The investigation of her death is still ongoing.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. A Male Teen Was the Last Person Seen With Campbell
Kiaya was last seen with the 15-year-old son of her father’s girlfriend around 7 p.m. on June 7 in the Thorton area when suddenly it started to rain, police said.
During the storm, police said that the two became separated, and she wasn’t seen since then. Campbell was visiting her father in Thorton and is originally from the Montbello neighborhood of Denver, so she wasn’t familiar with the area.
According the The Denver Post, the boy last seen with Campbell told authorities that he ran from her when it started to rain hard, although some neighbors in the area disputed that it rained that night.
On June 10, police said in a statement that they arrested a 15-year-old boy in the evening hours in connection with Campbell’s murder investigation.
Last night at 11:38 pm, Thornton Police Detectives arrested a 15-year-old juvenile male who was booked and transported to the Adams County Juvenile Detention facility. The juvenile male was arrested for investigation of first degree murder.
The connection between the Campbell and the boy that was arrested hasn’t been disclosed by authorities.
2. Police Issued an Amber Alert When She Was Reported Missing
After Kiaya disappeared Wednesday with the boy, police issued an Amber Alert to try and locate her. An intensive search ensued, and it involved over 20 different agencies and hundreds of volunteers canvassing the area.
Police said that they didn’t rule out the possibility that Campbell got washed away in a flash flood and looked virtually everywhere for her, including sewers and storm drains.
But one day later, they announced that her body was found in a green area close to Jasmine Court and Monaco Way in Thorton, less than two miles from where she was last seen with the teenage boy. A resident in the area called police after finding the body, an everybody was left devastated at the outcome.
After the announcement, the hundreds of volunteers who launched search parties were seen in the parking lot of a nearby elementary school with their heads bowed and with tears in their eyes.
Vigils for Campbell were held in the days that followed.
The Denver community where Kiaya was from also gathered over the weekend to remember her life. Fox 31 in Denver reported that community members got contributions from the local Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Pizza Hut and Panera, and it raised hundreds of dollars to support her family.
FBI agents were seen knocking on doors in the neighborhood looking for witnesses shortly after her body was found.
3. Kiaya’s Father Has Shared Posts About Children That Have Gone Missing on Social Media
On Facebook, Kiaya’s father Jacoby has shared dozens of news posts about people who have gone missing starting in 2016.
The first one was in June 2016, and he shared another one in October. The posts called for assistance in finding lost people of virtually any age, and it became even more frequent this year.
Another on April 19 was about 15-year-old Madison McKindle, who went missing in February in Lakewood, Colorado. The news report that Jacoby shared included a plea from her father, Ian, to help find her.
“I’d do anything for her,” Ian said to KDVR. “Just come home. I love you.”
Madison was later found safe with the help of Missing Angels, and organization that helps located missing children.
Jacoby’s last public post on the topic of missing children was on April 27 and it was about 13-year-old Haley Doane in Evergreen, Colorado.
4. A GoFundMe Was Launched by the Family
Shortly after her death was announced, Kiaya’s mother Chantel started a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral costs.
The description on the page talks about how much the family has appreciated the support from the surrounding community since her disappearance.
This beautiful soul was stolen from us. We appreciate everything everyone has done in this situation. Now we just appreciate anything anyone can do to help put her to rest.
I can’t thank everyone personally one on one and I am sorry for that. I do want to say that We are so thankful that so many of you are helping our baby rest. As her memorial comes we will inform everyone about it.
In two days, the campaign raised almost $12,500, easily eclipsing their goal of raising $10,000.
5. Kiaya Was an Active YouTube User
Kiaya had a YouTube channel where she had hundreds of subscribers and thousands of views on an array of children/teenage topics.
One of the videos she posted was about her getting a new pair of glasses, while others involved her singing, playing with the latest toys and gadgets or opening a pack of Pokemon cards.
Neighbors described Campbell to KDVR as a loving, innocent child with no mean bones in her body.