CANTON, Ga. – Authorities in Georgia on Tuesday revealed harrowing details about the death of 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera as police continued to hunt her killer.
At a news conference in Canton, Ga., Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said investigators believe Jorelys was abducted from the River Ridge Apartments playground, taken to a vacant apartment, sexually assaulted, and stabbed before her body was dumped.
Keenan said Jorelys had received other injuries he would not describe. A timeline leading up to her death is being constructed.
Vernon said investigators have collected evidence from several locations, including a vacant apartment which appeared to have bloodstains in it. DNA evidence has also been collected from Jorelys and was being examined Tuesday.
Keenan said investigators believe the girl's killer either resides at the River Ridge Apartments complex or has easy access to it.
According to Keenan, several hundred people have been interviewed, some multiple times. Sex offenders living at the complex were also interviewed, but Keenan said the GBI has no reason to think any of them were involved.
More than 65 investigators from the Canton Police Department, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, the GBI and the FBI have been assigned to Rivera's case, Keenan said.
A reward of $15,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the girl's killer.
Investigators found her body after searching a trash dumpster from the River Ridge Apartments on Monday. She had been missing since Friday.
At the time, she was in the care of her teenage babysitter, who was also caring for the 7-year-old's two other siblings.