A Louisiana man was arrested Wednesday in the death of a 6-year-old girl whose body was found stuffed in a trash can with multiple stab wounds, police said.
Matthew Flugence, 20, was questioned by detectives for hours before he was taken into custody, Fox8Live.com reported. He was apprehended without incident and was carrying a knife at the time of his arrest, police said.
Ahlittia North disappeared late Friday night or early Saturday morning. Her body was found just feet from the Harvey apartment where she lived with “very aggressive” stab wounds to the neck that likely were the cause of her death, authorities said. There were two more stab wounds to the abdomen and numerous bruises. Results were pending on whether she had been sexually assaulted.
Ahlittia’s family discovered her missing, and the door to their apartment open, Saturday morning. Authorities combing the area of apartments, some abandoned, found a pool of blood in the back of one unit a few buildings away, near numerous spent bullet casings and one live round.
When DNA test results on the pool of blood became available Monday night, they showed that it was Ahlittia’s. That sparked another search of the area, this time leading to the girl’s partially decomposed body in a trash bag in the previously searched trash can, authorities said.
Authorities said there was no sign of forced entry at the girl’s residence. The door was believed to have been locked from the inside when the family went to bed. He added that it wouldn’t have been unusual for Ahlittia to have opened the door for someone outside.
“We have heard from a number of witnesses: She was a very outgoing child, very friendly,” Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said. “She was one that, if someone knocked on the door, rang the doorbell, she wanted to be the first to the door.”
Flugence faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Ahlittia, and there is an outstanding warrant on a charge of sexual battery involving an 11-year old Harvey girl.
Investigation turned up a link between Flugence and the alleged sexual battery of an 11-year-old. There is no evidence that the girl’s mother and stepfather knew about that when they left the girl in Flugence’s care.
Flugence’s brother, Russell Flugence, was arrested earlier Tuesday and charged with obstruction of justice after Normand said he had information implicating his brother in the murder and did not come forward.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.