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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

GBI: Suspect in girl's slaying worked in apartment complex



Atlanta (CNN) -- The suspect in the slaying of a 7-year-old Georgia girl worked in the apartment complex where she lived, investigators said Wednesday.
Authorities arrested Ryan Brunn on Wednesday afternoon.
He is charged with killing 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera, who was last seen alive Friday near a playground at the apartment complex in Canton, Georgia. Investigators found her body in a trash bin there three days later.
Tips from the public led authorities to Brunn, a well-known worker at the apartment complex, said Vernon Keenan, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
"We believe that this horrendous crime was planned and calculated," Keenan told reporters.
Jorelys was abducted "in the immediate vicinity" of the apartment complex's playground, then taken to an empty apartment nearby, Keenan said.
"We have evidence that the murder occurred in that vacant apartment," he said. "At some point, the child's body was then disposed of in the Dumpster and compacted into trash."
Authorities have said Jorelys died of blunt force trauma to the head, was stabbed and had been sexually assaulted.
Earlier, Keenan said investigators had found blood in an empty apartment.
The brutal killing has shaken residents of the apartment complex, located about 40 miles north of Atlanta.
Witnesses told CNN that some neighbors screamed profanities and threw things as authorities arrested Brunn there Wednesday.
"It's so close to home. To think she was just right there at the park and from there disappeared is the scariest thing," Maria Rodriguez, a friend of the girl's mother, told CNN before Brunn's arrest.
Relatives of the little girl were devastated by her death.
"My world collapsed," her father, Ricardo Galarza, told CNN affiliate WAPA in Puerto Rico. "I couldn't believe that they robbed her from me."
"They destroyed my soul," her grandmother, Wanda Ivette Rivera, told the same network. "They took a piece of my heart."
Another family member, Miriam Rivera, urged the state of Georgia to "throw the full weight of the law to the person who did this."
Brunn was one of hundreds of people investigators interviewed in their search for suspects, Keenan said Wednesday. Authorities arrested him after they had obtained enough evidence to connect him to the killing, Keenan said, but the investigation will continue for months.
"We are investigating all of the past history of Ryan Brunn and piecing together what he's been doing the last several years," Keenan said. "We have sent agents to other states and also to other counties and we're going to backtrack all of his activities and make a determination if he has been involved in other crimes. He has no known criminal history to us, but we will find out."

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