Katelynn Arnold’s aunt became concerned when she did not return home from a bicycle ride around the neighborhood on Thursday and started looking for her. She did not find her with any of the friends she normally played with and returned home to find the girl in the backyard, hanged from a tree with an old tire swing rope.
Rescuers removed the girl from the tree and rushed her to the hospital where she would be pronounced dead. An autopsy would show cause of death to be ligature strangulation. Investigators would immediately call the death “very suspicious” but would not say why. That is until early the next day when they arrested Katelynn’s 14-year-old half-brother and charged him with murder.
The teen has admitted to police that he killed the girl by hanging her from the tree and has provided them with a motive that they have yet to reveal to the public. The unidentified boy currently faces juvenile charges but authorities could later decide to charge him as an adult as prosecutors did in the recent case of a 14-year-old Indiana girl who stabbed her 4-year-old cousin to death.
The siblings have lived with their aunt for years, according to neighbors, in some form of foster situation. One neighbor said he saw no signs that the boy would ever do anything like this.
“He’d run off and do crazy things, but I never believed he’d do something like that. It’s a bad situation,” the neighbor said.
Katelynn was part of the children’s choir at Hardin Chapel Baptist Church choir and was supposed to sing with the group yesterday. Instead the church remembered her with a special program dedicated to her with her uncle and sister in attendance. Katelynn’s funeral will be today at 2 p.m. at the church, where she will also be buried. Her funeral expenses have been paid by members of the community.Tags: Alabama, Crime, Hanging, Juvenile, Katelynn Arnold, Murder