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California Teen Charged As Adult In Killing Of 8-Year-Old Girl

A 15-year-old boy suspected of luring 8-year-old Madyson Middleton into his apartment, tying her, killing her, and then hiding the body in a recycle bin is being charged as an adult.

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Prosecutors allege a teenage boy lured 8-year-old Madyson "Maddy" Middleton into his apartment, tied her up and raped her before killing the young girl and leaving her body in a recycling bin, according to documents obtained by BuzzFeed News.

The boy, 15-year-old Adrian Jerry Gonzalez, was charged as an adult, Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeffrey Rosell said at a news conference Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, the search for Madyson ended in the worst way possible," Rosell said.

Rosell declined to discuss details of the case in the press conference, but documents filed in court Wednesday show prosecutors suspect Gonzalez, who knew Maddy, lured the girl into the apartment to rape her.

The teenager is accused of using some sort of a "deadly weapon" during the crime, according to the documents.

Maddy was last seen Sunday in her apartment complex wearing a knee-high purple dress and black leggings while riding a white Razor scooter.

Her disappearance sparked an intense search Sunday and Monday that involved search and rescue teams, a state K-9 unit, the FBI, and police reaching out to neighboring agencies.

Authorities suspect she may have been killed before she was reported missing.

The search came to an end Monday night when a detective again searched the apartment complex, including a recycle bin on the first floor of a parking lot of the building.

"Maddy's body was located within that recycle bin," Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel told reporters Tuesday, adding that her body was hidden "in a way that was not obvious."


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Adrian remains in custody at a juvenile facility.

Police noted that Adrian was "nearby when the body was found" and was interviewed by detectives overnight Monday, Vogel said.

Police did not disclose a motive for the killing, or how Maddy was killed.

Vogel said evidence from the scene links the Adrian to her death, and that the two knew each other because they lived in the same building.

If convicted of the charges, Adrian could face up to life in prison, Rosell said.

Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

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