A 15-year-old Florida boy is accused of shooting his 10-year-old sister to death, then dumping her body in the woods.
Fredrick Lochridge was arrested Sunday for the death of Izabella Heffernan, who was reported missing earlier in the day.
They haven’t ruled out the possibility that she was sexually assaulted before she was killed. An autopsy will be conducted and the investigation is ongoing.
He’s is charged with second-degree murder. The case will be brought before a grand jury, where a first-degree murder indictment can be considered.
The Bay County Sheriffâ€™s Office says Izabella was reported missing Sunday by her father. Her body was found in a wooded area in a white sundress and covered by multiple towels.
Her family was taken in for questioning, including Lochridge.
Detectives said Fredrick first admitted to shooting her with a .22 caliber rifle in the woods behind his house at about 3 a.m., claiming he mistook her for a deer. He said he shot her in the chest and between the eyes. He then says he moved her body into a bus, and then into the area where she was found. He hid the rifle in an abandoned house.
He then changed his story, telling them he saw someone attacking Izabella and accidentally shot her while trying to shoot the assailants.
He then gave a third story, claiming he was teaching her how to shoot the rifle and accidentally shot her in the chest.
â€œHe thought it hit her in the lungs and stated â€˜she started making gurgling noises, and I did not know exactly how to deal with that, so I shot her again.’â€
He then moved her to the bus, â€œcleaned her body, and changed her clothes, changing her into a white dress,â€ then moved her body to the woods.
The rifle was found in the abandoned house.
â€œWe are not 100% sure we know exactly why this happened or exactly the chain of events which led to it, but we do know that the 15-year-old shot and murdered his sister,â€ Sheriff McKeithen said at a press conference.
The sheriff also told reporters that Fredrick Lochridge wasnâ€™t a typical teenage boy.
â€œI can tell you this, the 15-year-old boy was not your typical 15-year-old kid that you would see everyday on the street. He was a hardcore kid. He lied. He was deceitful. He screamed. He cursed. He was like interviewing a 30-year-old murderer when we talked to him.â€
â€œApparently the father had already confronted the 15-year-old earlier in the day and thought there was a possibility he had something to do with the missing girl,â€ McKeithen said. â€œHe had actually handcuffed this boy and brought him back to his house. He failed to tell us that when we originally arrived, and we had no idea that had happened. We had no idea the 15-year-old was a suspect at that time.â€
It turns out that the Bay County Sheriffâ€™s Office has dealt with this family in the past.
â€œAbout four or five years ago, one of our deputies discovered a family living there in a house,â€ he said. â€œThere was about six kids, and a man and woman actually living there. The living conditions were absolutely horrible. It was freezing cold, not a lot of heat. We actually took a bunch of the deputies up and worked on the house and tried to get it to where they could have some heat and water and things of that nature.â€
The boyâ€™s mother is currently serving 30 years in prison in connection with the murder of her boss.
Michele Lochridge was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to murder in the 2011 killing of Ashley Pollow.
Michelle Lochridgeâ€™s boyfriend, Thomas Barnard, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder. He said he killed Pollow, a 58-year-old tax attorney, because he planned to turn in Michelle Lochridge for stealing from him.
Mrs. Lochridge was present when Barnard poured drain cleaner on Pollowâ€™s body to dispose of it, police said.
She was also arrested in 2000 after her sonâ€™s birth for using someone elseâ€™s identity and insurance to pay for the hospital bills related to her pregnancy, according to a Sun-Sentinel article from the time.