15-Year-Old Boy Arrested in Missing Santa Cruz Case

Madyson Maddy Middleton
This undated photo provided by the Santa Cruz Police Department shows missing Madyson "Maddy" Middleton, from Santa Cruz, Calif. Madyson Middleton was last seen Sunday afternoon, July 26, 2015, riding a scooter outside the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz, a beach town along the Northern California coast. The 4-foot-tall, a 50-pound child, has long brown hair, which was pulled to the side in a braid, and dark eyes. She was wearing a purple dress, black leggings, black flip-flops and a black helmet when she vanished. (Courtesy of Santa Cruz Police Department via AP)

SANTA CRUZ (KRON) — Sources say that the 8-year-old girl who vanished from her Santa Cruz apartment complex Sunday night was raped and strangled before her body was found inside a dumpster.

Madyson Middleton’s body was discovered inside of a dumpster at at the Tannery Arts Center by one of the department’s detectives Monday night. Police are not sure how long the body was inside the dumpster.

“At approximately 7:55 p.m., and this is extraordinarily heartbreaking news that I’m about to give to you, our detectives discovered the body of a young female inside of a dumpster at the complex located behind me,” said Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel on Monday night.

“Although we have not positively identified her yet, we believe that she is probably Madyson Middleton,” said Vogel.

A 15-year-old boy who was at the complex while crews searched for Middleton, was arrested around the same time the girl’s body was found, according to Vogel. The suspect and Middleton were neighbors at the Tannery Arts complex, which is part housing and studio space for artists.

The unidentified suspect is being held at the Santa Cruz Police Department as part of a homicide investigation, said Vogel.

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