Neighbor: GBI searches apt. in child death

Updated:

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga.,None - Authorities are searching for someone who brutally killed a Canton girl found in a Dumpster. A neighbor said investigators removed items from an apartment on Tuesday.

 

The girl, Jorelys Rivera, was a 7-year-old who disappeared from a playground at the River Ridge apartments where she lived. She was being watched by a teenage baby sitter. Neighbors said she was playing with friends Friday afternoon when she left to get drinks but never returned. Autopsy results show she was sexually assaulted, beaten and stabbed.

 

Law enforcement officials launched a massive search and found the body three days after the disappearance while sifting through the complex's Dumpster. Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan said investigators found Jorelys' blood in a vacant apartment at the complex.

 

"This was a very calculated and planned crime," Keenan said at a Tuesday news conference.

 

Keenan said 65 investigators from various agencies have conducted hundreds of interviews and reinterviewed several people. He said the killer likely lived in the girl’s apartment complex.

 

Channel 2’s Carol Sbarge spoke to neighbor Kelly Starnes Knight, who said GBI agents took a lot of bags out of an apartment Tuesday and towed away the occupant’s car. Knight said the resident hasn’t been seen since Tuesday.

 

"It's just very unnerving," Knight said.

 

Authorities are offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. Police are asking anyone with information about this investigation to please to call their tipline at 770-721-7852.

 

"I can’t sleep. I wake up with a headache. We just want justice," Knight said.

 

A public viewing is scheduled for Friday at Darby Funeral Home from 5 until 8 p.m. for Jorelys. A public funeral service will take place Saturday at the funeral home from noon until 1:30 p.m.

 

A private service will also take place for family members this weekend. After the services, Rivera's remains will be flown to Puerto Rico for burial.

 


 

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