BROOKSVILLE, Fla. – Jessica Lunsford (search) was buried alive after investigators missed a chance to save the 9-year-old when they visited the house where a convicted sex offender was keeping her in a closet, according to court documents released Thursday.
John Couey (search), who is charged with her murder and kidnapping, told detectives that he kept Jessica alive for three days during which investigators came to the house where he was hiding her.
Investigators never searched the house, Couey said.
Couey told detectives he fed the girl for three days until he buried her alive in trash bags in the middle of the night.
Jessica was found March 19, buried with her stuffed dolphin behind the mobile home across the street from her house. She had been kidnapped from her bedroom three weeks earlier. The day before her body was found, Couey had told investigators where to find it.
Couey has pleaded not guilty to four counts, including capital murder, and is being held without bond.