ST. MARTINS, Mo. - A 15-year-old has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a 9-year-old girl in central Missouri, authorities said Saturday.
Cole County Juvenile Court Administrator Michael Couty said that the 15-year-old is now being detained for the death of young Elizabeth Olten. Police have not released the teen's gender or name.
Elizabeth's body was found Friday after the suspect led police to a wooded area near her home west of Jefferson City. She was found two days after she disappeared. Cole County Sheriff Greg White said Saturday that the girl was found in an area that had previously been searched but she had been very well concealed.
Sheriff White said that Elizabeth knew the suspect but declined to elaborate.
The sheriff did not release any details about how Elizabeth died or about the juvenile in custody except to say that the person lived in the area west of Jefferson City.
"We were able to obtain some physical evidence and through some analysis of some of the evidence and, in all honesty, some written evidence, we were able to develop a person of interest," White said. "Once we reached that person and interviewed them, ultimately they led us to where we've recovered Elizabeth's body."
Elizabeth, of St. Martins Missouri, was last seen when she started walking home from a neighbor's house on Wednesday evening, police have said.
"I'm a parent, and I know how I would feel. I would simply leave it to you that they are grieving," he said.
Elizabeth's father, Dale Olten Sr., learned of her death while watching TV in prison, where he is serving a four-year sentence for drug possession.