• Mother wants death penalty for child's killer


    CANTON, Ga.,None - Wednesday night police remain at the apartment complex where a Canton girl was found and the man police said killed her was arrested.

    Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vernon Keenan identified the suspect as 20-year-old Ryan Brunn.

    Keenan said Brunn, a maintenance worker at the complex, killed Jorelys Rivera in a vacant apartment adjacent to the building where she lived.

    "This is a mammoth case. We believe that this horrendous crime was planned and calculated and we recovered a lot of evidence that's going to require processing," Keenan said at a Wednesday news conference.

    Jorelys 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 babysitter.

    Neighbors said Jorelys was playing with friends Friday afternoon when she left to get drinks but never returned. Her two younger siblings have since been taken into state custody.

    Law enforcement officials launched a massive search and found the body three days after the disappearance while sifting through the complex's Dumpster.

    Autopsy results showed she was sexually assaulted, beaten and stabbed.

    Keenan said investigators found Jorelys' blood in the vacant apartment. He said investigators are looking into Brunn's past and the investigation will take several months.

    "We believe this killing was planned and calculated," Keenan said.

    Keenan did not elaborate as to a motive for killing, but said, "We are confident that Brunn is the killer and that is why he is in custody."


    A mother's pain

    The family of Jorelys is struggling with news of the arrest and trying to figure out if the suspect ever had approached the 7-year-old girl.

    More than a dozen family members were gathered at the mother's apartment when news of Ryan Brunn's arrest came.

    Jocelyn Rivera could only weep sitting next to a family's memorial to her murdered daughter.

    Jocelyn's father flew in from Puerto Rico to comfort her. The family was trying to cope with Jorelys' death and absorb news of the arrest of the 20-year-old suspect.

    Rivera told Channel 2's Ross Cavitt she isn't sure if she'd recognize Brunn and didn't know if her daughter had any interaction with him.

    She thanked police for tracking down the suspect.

    "I don't want any charges brought against him. What I want is the death penalty. He's an animal and killed my angel," Rivera said.

    The family is united in its wish for the death penalty in this case. Jorelys' grandfather told Cavitt he'd prayed for an arrest to ease his pain.

    Jorelys' aunt, Zulaika Rivera, said she couldn't fathom what was in the killer's mind because no one in their right mind would do something like this.

    She said nobody, especially her young niece, deserved this fate.


    Residents say they knew it was Brunn

    Residents of the River Ridge apartments said they became suspicious of Brunn once they heard of Jorelys' murder case.

    "I just knew it was him," resident Jeremy Gibson said.

    Residents said Brunn had worked at the complex for only a short time, lived with the son of a complex manager and never really tried to fit in.

    "He's very odd. He would never look up at you. When you waved, he would wave with hand down," one resident said.

    Some residents shouted at Brunn as agents took him away in handcuffs Wednesday. Investigators said the 20-year-old has no criminal record.

    Apartment complex managers told Channel 2 Action News they did a background check on Brunn before hiring him.

    Residents said they saw Brunn around the apartment where Jorelys was assaulted and the Dumpster where her body was placed.

    Agents searched a garage used by maintenance crews, and neighbors said they saw agents collecting evidence for the last two days.

    "I've seen them search his car. I seen them take his car out of here. I seen them taking evidence out of his house yesterday," Gibson said. "I could have swore I seen him at the dumpster with a black trash bag with a flashlight."  


    Funeral Arrangements

    A public viewing for Jorelys Rivera is scheduled for Friday at Darby Funeral Home from 5 until 8 p.m.

    A public funeral service will take place Saturday at the funeral home from noon until 1:30 p.m.

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


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