Arrest made in death of missing 11-year-old girl from Georgia

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — An arrest has been made in the death of a missing 11-year-old Georgia girl whose body was found in Alabama.

Christopher Madison, 33, has been charged with capital murder in Amberly Barnett's death, according to the DeKalb County, Alabama, Sheriff's Office.

Barnett, who is from Polk County, Georgia, was last seen Friday night at her aunt’s home.

Deputies say they found the 11-year-old's body the next morning about 200 yards in the wooded area behind Madison's home. An initial autopsy shows that Barnett was strangled.

We're working to learn more about the horrible crime, on Channel 2 Action News at Noon

Madison was booked Saturday night and is being held without bond.

DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden released this statement:

"Due to the ongoing investigation, and in order not to jeopardize that investigation, I am not at liberty to disclose any additional information concerning this case. The road to justice for this sweet, innocent little girl is too important to release anything to jeopardize this investigation. I would like to thank our staff and all other departments that assisted on this case. This was a true joint effort, a team effort between multiple agencies who all worked tirelessly to help us get to this point."


Channel 2's Rikki Klaus spoke to the girl's mother exclusively Sunday night before the arrest was announced Monday.

“Nobody should bury their 11-year-old child. Nobody should have hurt her," Jonie Barnett said.

Jonie Barnett fought back tears as she talked about her daughter.

"I couldn't have asked for a better daughter," she said.

Jonie Barnett said her daughter loved science, and was caring and smart.

"Come and do it to me. Don't do it to her. Don't take my baby," she said.