Vigil held for slain teen cheerleader; 14-year-old suspect being held 21 days

Around the South

ST JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA/WNCN/CBS Newspath) — Authorities say a 13-year-old Florida girl who was reported missing over the weekend and later found murdered was stabbed to death. The teenager charged in connection with her murder has been ordered to be held for 21 days.

The St. John County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that a medical examiner had determined that the cause of death for 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey was “sharp force trauma by stabbing.” The manner of death has been ruled a homicide.

A 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Tristyn’s death, St. John County Sheriff Robert Hardwick announced Monday.

Tristyn was a cheerleader at her school and was a student at Infinity Allstars Cheerleading, which held a vigil Monday night, WLTV reported.

Hundreds showed up for the candlelight vigil held Monday night for Tristyn.

“The massive amount of love and support that came out for Tristynis so touching and so unbelievable and it just shows how much she was loved, by everybody she was just that person,” said Tanya White, her cheerleading coach.

The 14-year-old suspect had a virtual detention hearing Tuesday morning during which a judge agreed there is probable cause that an act of delinquency occurred, according to WTLV.

The judge ordered that he be detained for 21 days. The state attorney’s office will then decide whether he’ll be tried as an adult.

Deputies say the suspect and the victim attended the same school – Patriot Oaks Academy.

Hardwick confirmed Monday that his office was reviewing social media activity, including reports of a selfie circulating online that shows what appears to be the suspect in the back of a squad car flashing the peace sign with a caption making reference to Bailey.

“Our real-time intelligence center has captured all these videos. As much as we can, we monitor it,” he said. “And fortunately with some of these things that maybe you think are detrimental to the case, actually help … the case and don’t hurt [it] because we’re collecting this media, we’re collecting this real-time.”

Tristyn was reported missing by her family Sunday morning and was the subject of a statewide missing child alert. According to deputies, a resident who went out to help search for the girl found her body Sunday evening in the woods.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Click here for full list of trending stories