Possible New Lead in Calaveras Child Homicide

Placerville police say woman overpowered an intruder who snatched away her baby, now Calaveras investigators look for a connection in death of 8-year old

View Comments ()



    Authorities were searching for a man who stabbed a 9-year-old girl in the Calaveras County community of Valley Springs on Saturday, April 27, 2013.

    Officials in Calaveras County confirmed to NBC Bay Area they are investigating whether a man arrested in Placerville, who is accused of trying to kidnap a baby, has any connection to the killing of an 8-year-old girl over the weekend.

    The town of Valley Springs, where the child was stabbed to death in her own home, is about 50 miles south of Placerville.

    Parents of Girl Stabbed to Death in Rural Calif. Town Grieving

    [BAY] Parents of Girl Stabbed to Death in Rural Calif. Town Grieving
    With the dead girl's mother so overwhelmed by emotion she was unable to speak on Monday night, Calaveras County sheriff's investigators were questioning sex offenders and parolees anywhere near the area where 8-year-old Leila Fowler was stabbed to death on Saturday. Terry McSweeney reports. (Published Tuesday, April 30, 2013)

    Leila Fowler, just 8 years old, was stabbed to death on Saturday.

    The Placerville crime involving a 15-month old happened early Tuesday morning.

    A  man identified as Jason Wryrynen allegedly tried to take the baby by force, but the mother was able to wrestle her daughter away and struggled with Wryrynen until officers arrived, the Sacramento Bee reported.

     "We have no confirmed nexus to the Calaveras County case," Placerville police Capt. Mike Scott told the newspaper.

    But there were some similarities between Wryrynen and the description of the suspect in the killing of Leila in Valley Springs on Saturday, Scott said.

    Placerville officers were talking to Calaveras County investigators, and a DNA sample was collected from Wryrynen, officials said.

    Wayrynen, 44, was arrested on kidnapping and burglary charges connected to the Placervill case. (photo below)

    Calaveras County sheriff's investigators were also questioning sex offenders and parolees anywhere near the area.

    Investigators won't say if Leila was sexually assaulted or not, nor would they talk of the DNA evidence they have submitted to the state department of justice. Her parents were identified on Monday as Barney Fowler and Krystal Walters.

    Leila's 12-year-old brother came home on Saturday to find a stranger walking out of the family home on Rippon Road. He then found his sister bleeding from stab wounds, which the corner ruled the official cause of death.
    No suspects have been named, but officials said a second witness saw someone with a description similar to one provided by Leila's brother of a man who ran from the home when the boy confronted him.

    The description of the Valley Springs suspect is vague: white or Hispanic, muscular build, long gray hair, maybe 6 feet.

    The suspect is the subject of a broad manhunt by the sheriff's departments of Calaveras and surrounding counties, the California Highway Patrol and the state Department of Justice. Sheriff's officials say investigators collected fingerprints and what they believe is DNA from the home on Sunday.