NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Two teenage boys have been charged in connection to the murder of 5-year-old Isabella Tennant.
The girl was spending the night at her great-grandmother’s house when 16-year-old John Freeman allegedly killed Bella with his bare hands. Her official cause of death was listed as mechanical obstruction of the airway and compression of the neck. There were no signs of sexual assault.
After he killed Bella, he placed her body in a garbage bag and had one of his friends, 18-year-old Tyler Best, help place the little girl’s body in a garbage can three streets away. Best ended up going to police the next day and showing police where Bella’s body had been stashed.
Freeman was arrested and charged second-degree murder while Best was charged with tampering with evidence. Both have pleaded not guilty when they appeared in court on Tuesday and ordered back to jail until their Sept. 7 court date.
Bella’s mother, Crystal Walker, told reporters that she was working late that night at a sports bar, and that Freeman often took advantage of her grandmother’s kind heart. She said Freeman was a mooch and that even though she had often asked her grandmother not to let Freeman take advantage of her, her grandmother would still let Freeman stay in her home on occasion.
Police say Freeman showed up at the home Sunday night and killed Bella after her great grandmother went to bed. Walker says she wishes her grandmother had made Bella go to bed when she did, but does not blame her for her daughter’s death.Tags: Crime, Isabella Tennant, John Freeman, Murder, New York