Man denies killing friend’s eight-year-old daughter during a game of hide-and-seek

Man denies killing friend’s eight-year-old daughter during a game of hide-and-seek

A game of hide-and-seek ended in tragedy for one family in Bullhead City, AZ when their eight-year-old daughter went missing. Isabella Grogan-Cannella had last been seen playing in the yard with 26-year-old friend of the family Justin Rector. Two days later, the young girl was found dead, buried in a shallow grave and naked from the waist down.

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Rector had been staying with Bella’s family for a few days before she went missing in the early hours of September 1, Police Chief Brian Williamson said at a after the suspect’s arrest.

Bella’s 10-year-old sister told authorities that she saw the girl with Rector when she went to the bathroom around 11.30pm, and when she returned to her room, her younger sister and the older man were gone, Williamson said.

Bella’s family reported her missing around 1.30am.

Later that morning, Rector allegedly stoles clothing from Walmart and attempted to hide the clothes he’d been wearing at the time of the alleged murder, Williamson said.

Police arrested him for shoplifting that day and questioned him in relation to Bella’s disappearance.

If, as the evidence seems to suggest, Rector sexually assaulted and then killed this innocent young girl, I don’t think he deserves life in prison. That is simply way too lenient a sentence for him. Instead of letting him roam around jail, supported by the peoples’ tax dollars, give him the chair.

Our prayers go out to Isabella and her family. We know nothing will ever make it better, and nothing will bring her back, but from the bottom of our hearts we pray that justice will be served in this case.

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