Police are investigating the death of a 6-year-old girl found dead in a Salt Lake City suburb canal.
Sierra Lynn Newbold's body was found about an hour after her mother, Kathy Newbold reported her missing from her home near 7095 South and 2300 West around 7:30 a.m., the Deseret News reported.
Police say an autopsy revealed that Sierra Newbold, 6, from West Jordan, a suburb of Salt Lake City, was sexually assaulted and murdered in a 30-minute span from when her mother reported her missing from her bedroom, to her being found dead in a canal.
Police have also reported that there were no signs of a break in to the family home and they have no idea how she disappeared.
What is known is that Sierra’s dad had left for work some time before her disappearance and that both her younger sister and older brother were home.
The girl's grandfather Reed Newbold says her mother found her missing from her bedroom and the parents "are devastated."
Police Chief Doug Diamond declined to give anymore details but did say, "There was not a significant amount of trauma on the body."
"There is obviously a predator out there that is a monster, that has murdered a child," Diamond said. "Is this predator targeting other children? I have no idea at this point."
Police have increased police patrols and asked parents to take precautions to protect their children.
Sierra's murder is similar to another West Jordan homicide in August 1995, when 6-year-old Rosie Tapia was taken from her home at the Glendale area apartments and her body was found in a canal near her home. In 2010 police had a person of interest they were talking to, but no arrest was made.