|Police said the suspect led them to Elizabeth Olten’s body.|
ST. MARTINS, Mo. - The body of a missing 9-year-old girl was found in a wooded area near Missouri’s capital city yesterday, two days after she was last seen walking from a neighbor’s home, police said.
Cole County Sheriff Greg White said a juvenile, described as a “suspect,’’ was taken into custody. The juvenile was acquainted with the girl, Elizabeth Olten, White said.
The sheriff did not give any details on how Elizabeth died or about the juvenile in custody except to say that the person lived in the area west of Jefferson City and was older than the girl. Police said Elizabeth’s body was found just before 3 p.m.
“We were able to obtain some physical evidence, and through some analysis of some of the evidence and in all honesty some written evidence, we were able to develop a person of interest,’’ White said. “Once we reached that person and interviewed them, ultimately they led us to where we’ve recovered Elizabeth’s body.’’
Elizabeth, of St. Martins, was last seen when she started walking home from a neighbor’s house on Wednesday evening, police have said.
White said he had spoken with Elizabeth’s mother and said the family is “deeply grieving.’’ Elizabeth’s aunt, Vicki Olten, described her niece as an “angel’’ but declined further comment.
Earlier yesterday, about 70 people had searched for Elizabeth on horseback, with all-terrain vehicles, and on foot while 70 investigators checked leads, White said. Several hundred people had joined the search.