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Leila FowlerVALLEY SPRINGS, CA – Calaveras County sheriff’s deputies are searching for the man who broke into a home and repeatedly stabbed 8-year-old Leila Fowler to death.

Leila Fowler’s 12-year-old brother told police that around noon on Saturday he encountered a white or Hispanic male inside his home. When the man fled, the boy went to check on Leila and found that she had been stabbed multiple times.

He called 911, but Leila was later pronounced dead at hospital. “She was suffering from some severe injuries,” said Cpt. Jim Macedo.

A neighbor told police they saw the same man running from the home, leading police to setup a search perimeter in an effort to catch the suspect described as being 6 feet tall and muscular, with long white or gray hair, and wearing a black long-sleeved shirt and blue pants.

Residents were told the man is considered armed and dangerous and were informed by police to lock their doors as deputies searched the area. “We were doing a house-to-house search and in some cases were searching attics and storages. It’s a difficult area to search. It’s rural, it’s remote,” said Macedo.

Police are still questioning Leila’s brother, but he is not considered a suspect. “We are continuing to talk to him, which would be normal because he was the last person with the child,” said Macedo.

Aside from a description of the suspect, police were able to gather a bit of evidence from the family’s home, including fingerprints and possible DNA evidence.

“We are devastated,” said Crystal Walters, Leila’s mother. “She didn’t deserve this. … She was so full of life.”

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