A Florida teen who went missing over the weekend has been found dead by rescue workers. Thirteen-year-old Tristyn Bailey was a well-like cheerleader at her school before she went missing. Now, authorities suspect a male classmate of murdering her.
Bailey’s family last saw her just after midnight on Sunday, May 9, according to police. Later, the Durbin Crossing, Florida teen was seen at a local amenities center at around 1:15 am.
🚨 MISSING CHILD 🚨— SJSO (@SJSOPIO) May 9, 2021
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is currently seeking the whereabouts of a missing child who was reported missing earlier this morning by family.
The individual has been identified as Tristyn Bailey who is a 13 year old white female. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/krno3rvjfR
Her family became concerned, however, when she hadn’t returned home by 10 am the following morning. After an exhaustive search, police found Bailey’s body in a remote wooded area at 6 pm the same day. A coroner would later determine that she had been stabbed to death.
Less than 24 hours after Bailey was reported missing, the St. John’s County Sheriff’s office announced the arrest of 14-year-old Aiden Fucci in the killing.
“Based on the discovery of the body and admissions during questioning, we refocused our investigative efforts,” said the sheriff’s office.
According to police, Fucci was caught on a home surveillance camera walking with Bailey around 1:45 the morning before her disappearance. A subsequent search of his house found clothing matching that seen in the footage, covered with blood.
An Incriminating Social Media Post
Police say they are also investigating a social media post apparently made by Fucci during the investigation. The Snapchat photo appears to show him sitting in the back of a police car, unhandcuffed and flashing a peace sign. A caption over the image reads, “Hey guys has inybody seen Tristyn lately.”
Police say that Fucci, who attends Patriot Oaks Academy along with Bailey, has changed his story several times, but has also made multiple admissions that have been confirmed through surveillance footage. He currently faces one count of second-degree murder in Bailey’s death.
“That’s actually a decision we made collectively… with the State Attorney’s Office,” Sheriff Robert Hardwick told press at a conference on Monday. “We can always increase the charge.”
Officials are also working to determine whether Fucci should be charged as an adult for his alleged crimes, according to People.
“This is not an easy process,” said Hardwick. “We have a person charged with a serious crime. We have a family grieving the loss of a loved one — a child.”
Members of the community now remember Bailey’s positive attitude towards life and those around her.
“She is just the most cheerful, most spirited, friendliest person,” Bailey’s cheerleading coach, Courtney Sparks, told press. “[She] is down to basically do whatever, really, to help unite the team. Whatever it takes for the team to get to the next level, she’s the person to help push the team forward.”
A GoFundMe to raise money for Bailey’s family has currently exceeded its goal of $20,000, raising $27, 522 as of this writing.
“Her family has in no way asked for anything, but so many have reached out wanting to help,” a statement on the GoFundMe page reads. “Thank you in advance for all your prayers and support.”
Tristyn Bailey Missing — Sources