Leila Fowler Case: 12-Year-Old Brother Arrested For Murder

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Leila Fowler's 12-year-old brother has been arrested for murder after an investigation that initially focused on an intruder who the boy said was responsible.

Fowler Case

"We have put over 2,000 hours in this investigation to provide Leila Fowler's family answers to her death," Calaveras County Sheriff Gary Kuntz said.

"Citizens of Calaveras County can sleep a little better tonight."

With the exception of Leila Fowler's parents, that is.

The boy, whose name was not made public but is nevertheless obvious to the town, will be charged with murder, the sheriff said at a news conference.

The slaying made national news and had authorities warning residents of the tight-knit area where the crime occurred to lock doors and remain vigilant.

Leila and her brother were home together on the night of April 27 at their home in Valley Springs, Calif., a rural town of 7,500 southeast of Sacramento.

Their parents had gone to a town Little League game.

The boy told investigators he had heard an intruder, then saw a man running away from the home. The boy said he then found his severely injured sister.

He called his parents, then dialed 911, officials said.

Leila Fowler, 8, died of shock and bleeding as a result of multiple stab wounds, while her brother's account sent authorities scrambling to find the killer.

They fanned out in the rural foothill area, searching indoors and out for the intruder. Patrols were dispatched to her elementary school and local bus routes.

Eventually, the search led them in a wholly new direction.

Police arrested Leila's brother shortly after 5 p.m Saturday.

As part of the ongoing investigation, authorities seized several knives from the home Leila Fowler shared with her father, stepmother and siblings.

It's not clear what specific evidence they found that ties the brother to the murder of his sister, but those details will likely be made public before long.