Vigil Held for 8-Year-Old Girl Killed in Santa Cruz

Several hundred people came together late Tuesday for a candlelight vigil to remember an 8-year-old girl killed in Santa Cruz.

The body of Madyson "Maddy" Middleton was discovered late Monday inside a recycle bin in a first-floor garage near her apartment complex. Shortly after her body was found, police arrested Maddy's 15-year-old neighbor.

"A lot of people in town have been walking around numb," Scotts Valley-resident Robert Aldana said. "That's how I feel like. I've been walking around numb."

Police believe the suspect killed Maddy before they received the initial call that the girl was missing on Sunday. Authorities also said the teen was likely someone Maddy trusted.

Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said the teen brought the girl to his apartment, where she went “willingly," before he "murdered her inside his apartment and carried her downstairs to the recycle bin." The teen was spotted very close to the dumpster bin when the body was found, Vogel added, and the girl's body was "concealed in a way that wasn't obvious or readily apparent." A police statement said the teen had gone to "great lengths" to hide and disguise the body.

The district attorney is deciding on whether to charge the teen as an adult in the killing. The district attorney also is expected to announce his plans for the case on Wednesday during a press conference.

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