VALLEY SPRINGS, CA - Calaveras County sheriff's deputies have made an arrest in the murder of 8-year-old Leila Fowler.
Fowler's 12-year-old brother was arrested in connection to her death around 5:10 p.m., said Sheriff Gary Kuntz during a news conference at the sheriff's Valley Springs substation.
On April 27, Fowler died after being stabbed in her family's Valley Springs home. Her 12-year-old brother told investigators that a man broke into their home that afternoon. The boy also told detectives when he went to hide from the intruder in a different room, he found Fowler with severe injuries. Fowler was transported to the hospital where she later died.
Kuntz said the 12-year-old boy will be charged with homicide. He did not release details on what lead detectives to the boy as a suspect in Fowler's murder.
"During the past 15 days, we have conducted an expansive investigation," Kuntz said. "These types of cases require a considerable amount of time. It was our commitment to make sure that we did as thorough a job as possible."
More than 2,000 hours were put into the investigation. Detectives studied several knives to determine if one was used as a weapon in Fowler's death; the sheriff's department did not say from where investigators had recovered the knives but that the information would "come out eventually."
Dive crews also searched two small reservoirs near Fowler's home for additional evidence, while deputies canvassed more than 300 homes to see if anyone may have remembered seeing anything the day of Fowler's murder.
The sheriff's office said more information about the case will be released later on the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office's website.