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Homicide

Brother, 12, arrested in fatal stabbing of 8-year-old California girl

califkilling12.jpg

April 29, 2013: Calaveras County Sheriff's deputies and volunteers stand watch at Jenny Lind Elementary School, after the murder of one it's students over the weekend, in Valley Springs, Calif.AP

Authorities have arrested a 12-year-old boy in the fatal stabbing of his 8-year-old sister at her home in a quiet Northern California community last month.

Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz told reporters at a news conference that the boy was taken into custody Saturday afternoon and will be charged with homicide, Fox40.com reported.

"Citizens of Calaveras County can sleep a little better tonight," Kuntz said.

The April 27 attack shook the tightknit Valley Springs community of about 7,400 people and set off a massive manhunt. The boy had told police that he encountered an intruder in the home and described the man as being tall with long gray hair.

Investigators did a door-to-door sweep of houses, storage sheds and horse stables scattered across oak-studded hills. Divers also searched two nearby reservoirs in search of clues.

As part of the investigation, authorities seized several knives from the home Leila shared with her father, stepmother and siblings to determine if one could have inflicted the fatal wounds.

A neighbor who told detectives she saw a man flee the Fowler home later recanted the story and was discredited by police.

Several days after the killing, hundreds of people gathered at Jenny Lind Elementary School where Leila was a popular 3rd grader.

Her mother, Krystal Walters, tearfully thanked the crowd for the support. "It will never be forgotten," she said.

Police did not release any further details about the case at Saturday's press conference, but noted that the investigation is still ongoing, according to the Fox40.com report.

Several days after the killing, hundreds of people gathered at Jenny Lind Elementary School where Leila was a popular 3rd grader. Her mother, Krystal Walters, tearfully thanked the crowd for the support.

"I just want to thank the entire community and all of our family and friends for all the overwhelming amount of support you've given our family," Walters said at the time. "It will never be forgotten. Thank you."

Click here for more from Fox40.com.

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