Accused Child Killer in Santa Cruz is 15-year-old Neighbor

AP Photo

The search for little 8-year-old Madyson Middleton in Santa Cruz ended with the discovery of her lifeless body–and the arrest of 15-year-old neighbor Adrian Jerry Gonzalez, who is being charged as an adult for the crimes of murder, kidnapping and sexual assault.



Middleton had last been seen riding her scooter in the Tannery Arts Center complex. Her little body was found within about a day of being reported missing.

Gonzalez stands accused of luring the young girl to the apartment where he lived with his mother in the Santa Cruz neighborhood known for its liberal artists’ colony. The New York Times reports that prosecutors will pursue charges of kidnapping, sexual assault and murder. According to the Santa Cruz Police Department, evidence indicates that Gonzalez dumped Middleton’s body in a recycling bin near the apartment complex.

Classmates of Gonzalez told KRON 4, “I didn’t really believe it at first,” and “I didn’t believe it either.” Many that spoke of him mentioned his affinity for his yo-yo and playing piano. Posts on an Instagram account believed to be his, but now taken, down reveal dark reflections: “The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had,” he posted, quoting a Tears for Fears song.

The news outlet reported that “sources” say Gonzalez wanted to kill himself so instead he “duct taped [the girl], raped her, and stabbed her to death.”

The Santa Cruz Police Department reported that detectives had interviewed Gonzalez for several hours.

Santa Cruz Police Tweeted out photos of a candlelight vigil held for Maddy.



Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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