A 15-year-old accused of killing 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten is to appear in a Missouri court Wednesday.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 15-year-old accused of killing 9-year-old Elizabeth Olten is to appear in a Missouri court Wednesday.
Cole County Juvenile Court Administrator Michael Couty (koo-TEE') said Tuesday the hearing is to determine whether the teen should continue to be detained. Couty says the 15-year-old would appear by videoconference, and a hearing is scheduled for Nov. 18 to determine whether the teen should be tried as an adult.
Both hearings could be open to the public.
Police have not released the suspect's name or gender, but say Elizabeth and the 15-year-old lived in the same area and were acquainted. Hundreds of people searched a woody area in St. Martins after Elizabeth did not return home from a friend's house. Her body was discovered Friday.
(AP) — Police served a warrant at a neighbor’s house hours after finding the body of a missing 9-year-old girl in a heavily wooded area of central Missouri.
Records reviewed Monday show the Cole County Sheriff’s Department served the warrant late Friday night just several homes south of where Elizabeth Olten lived in St. Martins. Police records do not indicate the type of warrant, and the department declined to elaborate Monday.
Authorities are seeking a first-degree murder charge against a 15-year-old who is in custody of the juvenile justice system, but police have not released the teen’s name or gender and have provided few other details about the suspect.
A phone number registered to the house where the warrant was served was disconnected, and there was no answer at the door Monday.
Cole County Sheriff Greg White previously has said that the suspect lived in the same area as Elizabeth, which is just west of Jefferson City, and was acquainted with Elizabeth but not a relative.
Police say Elizabeth on Wednesday was to walk home from a friend’s house that was about a quarter-mile away. After she was reported missing, several hundred people searched through soaking rain in a heavily wooded area near her home.
White said the 15-year-old on Friday led police to Elizabeth’s body, which he said had been in the primary search area but was ‘‘very well concealed.’’
Police focused the search on a tract of woods after they were able to trace the general location of Elizabeth’s cell phone. The phone’s battery had died by Thursday morning. White said police found the phone near Elizabeth’s body.
Cole County Juvenile Court Administrator Michael Couty said Monday that a hearing to determine whether the teen should be treated as an adult or juvenile is likely to occur within 30 days. Couty said that the suspect would undergo a background and psychological check.
Under Missouri law, children as young as 12 can be charged as adults with first-degree murder. But the case must start in the juvenile court system while a hearing is held on whether to transfer it to an adult court. Juvenile court records generally are closed under Missouri law unless a judge grants an exception.