Coroner: Santa Cruz girl stabbed and strangled

- SANTA CRUZ, Calif.  (KTVU and wires) – An 8-year-old Santa Cruz girl who was allegedly lured into a neighbor’s apartment and killed suffered stab wounds to her neck and was asphyxiated, authorities revealed Thursday.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Department said those were the conclusion of the coroner’s  report into the death of Madyson Middleton.

Adrian Jerry Gonzalez, a 15-year-old neighbor of Middleton’s, has been charged as an adult with one felony count each of murder, kidnapping to commit another crime, sexual penetration by a foreign object, forcible lewd act upon a child, forcible rape of a child under 14 years old and forcible lewd act upon a child.

According to Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel, Maddy went willingly into the Gonzalez family apartment with Adrian and was probably dead even before she was reported missing. 

She was last seen shortly after 5 p.m. riding her Razor scooter outside the housing complex at the center's campus and was reported missing at 6:08 p.m. on July 26th.

Officers searched for the girl with the help of the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, FBI and other area agencies for nearly 24 hours without any success.

 A Santa Cruz police detective then found Maddy's body concealed at the bottom of a large recycling bin in a first-floor parking garage at the housing complex shortly before 8 p.m. July 27th.

Gonzalez lives in a unit above the garage and was taken in by police for questioning. He was eventually arrested and booked into the county juvenile detention center.

Maddy also lived at the housing complex with her mother and according to investigators was an acquaintance of Gonzalez.

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